Should children see the new Playing with Fire Movie Review | Safe for Kids?, an honest parent look at the new Paramount Pictures live action film. No spoilers. #PlayingwithFireMovie May contain commissioned links.
Playing with Fire Movie Review | Safe for Kids?
On fire or smoke and mirrors?
Even fire fighting eye candy can’t gloss over the doubts I had going into this overly amp-ed fire and rescue movie. There’s a big difference between a cheesy snooze comedy or a surprisingly “lit” family film. (The fire jokes are only going to get better here, folks.)
While I’m a big John Cena fan for his late night show quick wit and intelligence, I’m not very accustomed to his acting style. Is this WWE wrestler turned actor following the successful footsteps of The Rock? Or are we just going down in flames? In this Playing with Fire Movie Review | Safe for Kids?, we’re talking visuals, story (with NO spoilers!), a full PG rating breakdown, and sharing whether you should bring your own children to see this John Cena film.
There’s nothing too fancy in the CGI department for this film. Mostly done in live action with a few action sequences and oh, some fire or something. This live action film relies heavily on some good looking dudes, cute kids, and a drooling dog to carry this film. The kids will love learning more about the dangerous jobs of smoke jumpers, with a few search and rescue scenes and some big vehicles.
From the opening scene, you can immediately tell this movie is going to be well, fired-up. Over-the-top exaggeration, humor, commentary, music – you name it, Playing with Fire is the epitome of slapstick family film. Highly comparable to the Diary of a Wimpy Kid movies or a mildly less crude Meet the Fockers, this John Cena movie is on par with that kind of “let’s see what happens when everything goes wrong” kind of story. Honestly, this story theme is NOT my cup of tea.
If you’re looking for a unique story in this movie, you won’t find it underneath all of the smoke and mirrors. It’s a familiar story, one that we all have probably seen a million times. “What happens if we hand over kids to adults who have never handled kids before?” Chaos, a few family-friendly laughs, and then maybe a heartfelt “aw” at the end, it’s a film formula out of the ’90s. Nothing original, nothing surprising, you can about 99.99% guess what’s coming next. Oh, except for that fire fighting part.
If you thought this movie was about firefighters fighting fires (say that three times fast), surprise. This movie is actually about smoke jumpers. Basically the only real point made during the film – they are NOT the same thing as firefighters. Cool to learn about a new job for kids, but a little deflating in the action portion of the story. Just saying.
That PG Rating
Not all PG ratings are the same. Movie ratings have shifted so much over the years – teetering between Incredibles 2 intense and Abominable calm. More recently, a shocking Maleficent: Mistress of Evil PG rating really took us for a loop.
With everything “going wrong” in this film, there’s definitely room for suggestive content. Is the new Playing with Fire movie ok for children? Rated PG for “rude humor, some suggestive material, and mild peril,” I’m breaking down whether this PG film is safe for your kids to see.
Language. I guess Paramount didn’t think I would pay attention to the opening song. But when the smoke jumpers are entering the screen to the popular “Uptown Funk” song, the words “hot damn” were all I could think about over and over and over through the opening scene. Besides the one suggestive song though, I didn’t catch any other adult language that your kids should be concerned with.
Adult themes. Nothing too dramatic here. There are a few shirtless John Cena scenes for any adult looking for eye candy. Also a few kisses, but nothing past that point. As far as potty humor, I go back to the Dora movie review for comparison. There is one toilet scene in the forest, but rather mild in comparison to Dora (no nudity). There’s is also one diaper changing scene that is potential gut churning for those with sensitive stomachs.
Violence. Keeping in mind, this is a movie where a bunch of grown up men take on 3 kids with lots of over the top humor. While there’s no direct fighting violence, there’s plenty of never-do-this-as-a-parent-ever actions happening in this film. Some involving dangerous equipment like the ax, flare gun, and a workshop full of tools that kids should never play with. Some involving the ingestion of dangerous substances. Some involving transportation that kids should never drive by themselves. And of course, there’s fire.
So would I bring my own kids to see the Playing with Fire movie? I would recommend kids who are around the age of my 6-year old daughter (those starting to grow out of the cartoons-only phase) and soak in over-the-top physical comedy would love this film. My 11-year old son (big fan of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid movies) ate this movie up with BIG ole belly laughs. I would expect the same had my daughter joined. But I’m happy that I screened this first before I brought her.
Look, this movie is NOT going to be winning any awards. It’s a comedy theme we all know, just in a different setting. But, beneath the overacting and overdone physical comedy, you get a trio of men who really play up their roles. When you add up John Cena’s seriousness, Keegan Michael Key’s physical comedy, and John Leguizamo’s high strung energy, it’s almost horribly enjoyable to watch. Almost. Maybe it’s my sympathy for simpler times and simpler films (hey, there’s nothing wrong with growing up in the ’90s), but I went in expecting to 1000% hate it, and didn’t.
Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t love it, even as a John Cena fan. But underneath many, Many, MANY layers of overacting and over-the-top comedy, there is still a sappy message deep down that we can “smoke jump” into our kids. Family. The world doesn’t define who family is to you. You do. And you can’t spray that fire with a 10-foot hose. (Ok, bad joke – but you get the point.)
And for those who care, there are a short round of outtakes in the beginning of the end credits are fun to watch, especially for the physical comedy scenes. But I’m always a sucker for movie outtakes. Be sure to catch all of my family film ratings and reviews over at my Rotten Tomatoes page!
Follow Playing with Fire movie on social:
- Website: https://tickets.playingwithfire.movie/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/playingwithfiremovie/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/playingwithfire/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/playingwfire
Playing with Fire is in theaters on Friday November 8, 2019. Will you be taking your kids to see this new John Cena film?
I was invited as press to screen this film in exchange for this Playing with Fire Movie Review | Safe for Kids? All photos courtesy of Paramount Pictures. Be sure to follow Raising Whasians via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube for more movie updates, celebrity interviews, entertainment and behind-the-scenes info!
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