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Film / Fire with Fire

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"Revenge has its own set of rules."

Fire with Fire is a 2012 action thriller film directed by David Barrett, starring Josh Duhamel, Bruce Willis, Rosario Dawson, Vincent D'Onofrio, and 50 Cent.

A gang of California neo-Nazis are captured for a double murder they committed after being identified by a firefighter named Jeremy Coleman (Duhamel), who witnessed the whole ordeal. Coleman is placed in Witness Protection, but when the Nazis' leader is released before trial and threatens his life, he's forced to take desperate action.

Not to be confused with the 1986 romantic drama of the same title.

This film contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Talia is a US Marshal, teaching her boyfriend Jeremy to shoot. He has to rescue her once when the bad guys go after them, but in the last case she rescues herself and then him, taking out the Big Bad plus his very skilled hitman while doing so.
  • Amoral Attorney: Subverted. Hagan's lawyer seems to be a scumbag for defending such a psycho, but he's shown to sincerely believe in the American justice system and only keeps Hagan on out of fear for his and his family's lives.
  • Ax-Crazy: David shows himself to be particularly vicious, cruel and bloodthirsty to anybody who crosses his path. Boyd is just as bloodthirsty and psychotic, but unlike Hagan is much more outspoken, whooping with glee after Hagan shoots the store owner and his son.
  • Arch-Enemy: Jeremy Coleman has David Hagan, a neo-Nazi gang leader who spends the film pursuing him as a witness.
  • Badass Boast:
    -Jeremy "To Hell with Witness Protection; you're gonna need protection from me."
  • Big Bad: David Hagan, the neo-Nazi gang leader after Jeremy.
  • Black Dude Dies First: The store owner and his son who are murdered while Jeremy watches by Neo-Nazi crime boss David Hagan to send a message for the local black gang they pay protection.
  • Bridal Carry: Jeremy carries Talia away from the fire at the end this way (he is a firefighter).
  • Cop Killer: David Hagan had one of the detectives investigating him murdered along with his wife, but the police wouldn't prove he did it.
  • Damsel in Distress: Talia is shot but survives early on when an attempt is made on Jeremy's life. He manages to save her.
  • Damsel out of Distress: When she's captured right before the finale, Talia frees herself and then helps take down the villains.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: Jeremy was motivated to fight fires because his parents died in one.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: If you get in Hagan's way with anything, he will kill you and everybody you love.
  • Distressed Dude: Jeremy is beaten up multiple times and nearly killed. Near the end Talia comes to save him from Hagan before he's killed.
  • Evil Plan: David Hagan is hunting down a man who witnessed his crimes and testified against him so he can kill him and his entire family.
  • Fair Cop: Talia Durham is a beautiful US Marshal who's assigned to Jeremy when he's put in Witness Protection, and he starts a relationship with her.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Hagan has a boss, but we never meet them.
  • It's Personal: Mike Cella wants to get David Hagan not just for being an evil crime boss, but due to him murdering Mike's partner before, along with his partner's wife.
  • Kick the Dog: David Hagan is a dog-kicking machine, slaughtering the entire families of anybody who crosses him in any way.
  • Might as Well Not Be in Prison at All: David Hagan mentions this, warning Jeremy that even if he's sent to prison, he'll still be the head of his gang from the inside and send assassins after him. Not only him, but also his loved ones. Indeed, he even started as a prison gang leader first.
  • Mob War: Hagan's "Aryan Brothers" gang spend the film moving in on a Crips neighbourhood.
  • Off on a Technicality: Hagan's lawyer threatens to do this if his client's bail is revoked for obviously ordering a hit on Jeremy.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: David Hagan is a Neo-Nazi crime boss who's the Big Bad and naturally has some comments based on his ideology.
  • Professional Killer: David Hagan hires a hitman simply called Robert who is very skilled to kill Jeremy, the witness testifying about murders he committed.
  • Rasputinian Death: Hagan is axed in the chest, shot a few times, set on fire and knocked out a several-story window onto concrete.
  • The Sociopath: David Hagan, a neo-Nazi who robs and kills with impunity, going after the families of anybody who tries to stop him. He shows absolutely no true feelings for anyone, and loves to hurt people.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: The main villains are a neo-Nazi gang pursuing a witness.
  • Vigilante Man: After he's nearly killed while in Witness Protection and the brutal crime boss behind it threatens to also murder all of his loved ones, Jeremy determines that he's got to take him on his own. He goes after Hagan and his gang directly, killing several.
  • Witless Protection Program: Despite Jeremy getting put in Witness Protection, Hagan and his Nazis still find him.