If this had been released on a busier weekend, I would have skipped it and not given it a second thought. As it was, I was already on the fence about it. I’m skipping kids movies more and more these days, but I do love John Cena and Keegan-Michael Key. And firefighters. Ahem, smoke jumpers. And John Leguizamo.
Cena is the supervisor for a team of smoke jumpers that fight California wildfires (timely!) His crew rescues a trio of two tots and a teen who have to stay overnight at the depot. Chaos ensues, as is often the case with children.
It took a little while for the movie to find its groove, for me at least. The humor was very little kid humor, so not my thing. But it was well crafted kid humor, like they actually put some thought into it. And even if I wasn’t laughing, there was a constant high pitched buzz of giggles from the surprising amount of kids in the audience for a 7PM showing on a Tuesday in November. That’s what really mattered, and it was more than succeeding in its mission.
Then the film shifted a little bit. There was a new plot point introduced and now the film was less about the chaos and there was an emotional arc happening. I ate it up. By the time we got to the end of the film, I was just absolutely overcome by the warm happy feels. Completely unexpected.
Real quick, I wanna give a shout out to Judy Greer. You likely know her without knowing it. She’s around a lot. Here, she’s a PhD holding scientist that’s a love interest for John freaking Cena. GET IT GIRL! She actually does make a point to highlight that she is a smart and capable independent woman, not just a throwaway character filling a quota. And she is a major win for us nerdy ladies.
Playing With Fire – \m/ \m/ \m/