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Playing with Fire

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Instead of getting his chance to clear the bar set by a smokejumper father seasoned in the art of smothering, Superintendent Jake “Supe” Carson (John Cena) is stationed in Reading, CA, a minor hazard town, relatively speaking. Built like Popeye, the ablutophiliac Supe’s workday consists of tidying the firehouse and playing first fiddle to a band of stout, roughhewn, and wholly unifunctional stooges. Supe swoops down to save a trio of kids who swear that their parents are away for the weekend and that older sister Brynn (Brianna Hildebrand) was left in charge. But if that were the case, there would be no sad music cues at the mention of dead parents, no reconciliations to be made, and no kids to adopt before the obligatory blooper reel rings down the curtain. Directed by Andy Fickman (Parental Guidance) whose “poop reversal” is as bold a directorial statement as Scorsese “borrowing” George Delerue’s “Theme de Camille” from Godard’s Contempt to underscore the opening credits of Casino. Per custom with this director, the star rating is there to punish those who only look at the numbers without reading the review. (2019) — Scott Marks

Rated PG | 1 hour, 36 minutes
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