In theaters now, Playing with Fire has been a miss with most critics. Kids everywhere are loving it and parents are torn. Have we become too cautious and critical of today’s family films? Find out what I think in my Playing with Fire Review.
I’ll admit I left the theater a little confused on if I actually liked the film or not. It was funny and had a heartwarming tale, but there were some parts that had me thinking twice.
One scene, in particular, I know my son (12) and most kids would find hilarious. Heck, my husband probably would too. Me – I was grossed out.
But listening and talking to others made me started questioning if we have started to censor our kids too much when it came to movies.
We don’t censor much in our house, but I know many parents do. So, I’ve always tried to tailor my movie reviews with that in mind. This isn’t going to be like that. I want to start a conversation and see what others think.
Warning this post contains spoilers.
Yes, many of the scenes are kids getting into things and doing things that they shouldn’t. Even if you haven’t watched the trailer, I think it’s pretty obvious that that is a major plot in Playing with Fire.
There were parts that had me shaking my head and coming up with punishments that fit the crime and thinking “Oh, if that was my kid…”
But reflecting on it now, I hate to say it but the kids were being kids. And y’all don’t know how much using that phrase just made me what to scream. I hate it.
And there are a couple of parts that I would have locked my kids in their rooms with bars for the rest of their lives. But of course, the antics of the kids were over the top and exaggerated because it’s a movie.
I’ve heard others say they won’t take their kids to see the film because of the antics pulled in the film.
When I was a kid…
And while some are soooo not ok, I can remember being a little girl and wanting to make something on my play stove in my room in the middle of the night. So, I went into the kitchen got some ingredients and proceeded to make a huge smelly mess. My mom wasn’t so pleased when she woke up and realized I used her perfume along with water to “cook”.
I have pictures of my son in the kitchen at the stove (stove was off) cracking eggs into a pan, because he wanted eggs and I was busy at that moment. There was egg dripping down the front of the stove, all over the counters and floors.
So, do we not show our kids “Home Alone”, “The Goonies” or other 80’s and 90’s classics because there are kids doing things they shouldn’t be doing? Obviously, it’s up to each and every family to make that decision for themselves, but that doesn’t mean a movie is bad because you don’t feel it’s right for your family.
Playing with Fire poop scene #1
Yep, we’re talking about poop.
In the scene, Jake Carson (John Cena) and Mark (Keegan-Michael Key) had to change the stinky diaper of 3-year-old Zoey (Finley Rose Slater). Of course, this was a first for both of them and they debated back and forth over who was changing it as they stood over her.
Once Carson came back in full firefighter gear, he was ready to tackle the unsavory task. But little Zoey wasn’t done doing her business. And the poop shoots up his sleeve into his mask…
And queue the hysterical laughter of kids throughout the theater and most of the dad’s too.
Me – I hid my face and almost had to excuse myself from the theater because EWWWW!
But apparently it could be more than poop.
The disgusting shooting poop was my only complaint in this scene and all I planned for my initial review. But then I talked to other moms and found out that they were taken aback by something else. Something that literally never crossed my mind. Their take was so interesting to me it made me change the way I approached this post.
There are three siblings, 16-year-old Brynn (Brianna Hilderbrand), 10-year-old Will (Christian Convery) and of course, Zoey (Finley Rose Slater) in Playing with Fire.
When we were discussing the film, they brought up that they found it inappropriate that Carson and Mark were changing the toddler’s diaper. They felt that it should have been the older sister instead of these men who were essentially strangers.
My stance was that “these men” were her caregivers at the time and it was their responsibility to take care of the child and not that of the teen sister. Once the children were placed in the care of the smokejumpers, Brynn was no longer in charge or responsible for taking care of her younger siblings.
Honestly, I didn’t even blink because the men were changing the diaper, but they were very much against it.
John Cena pooping scene
After some mishaps, Jake and the kids end up having to camp in the woods. Carson has to go to the bathroom, but Zoey is scared and doesn’t want to let him out of her sight. So, he takes her with him. As he’s squatting to do his business he’s holding the little girl out in front of him…
Again, the kids in the theaters will crack up. I mean what kid doesn’t like poop humor?
Immediately, I was saying “Um, nope”. I wouldn’t hold my own kid while pooping and I definitely wouldn’t hold someone else’s kid.
It was awkward and slightly uncomfortable. And left many of us asking why. Why would he hold her? Why wouldn’t he just put her down? Why was it in the film? It wasn’t needed.
But it also wasn’t such a huge part of the overall story that I wouldn’t see it with my kids.
Is Playing with Fire a good movie?
My advice – don’t overthink it. It’s just a “dumb comedy”. And if you’re worried the actions of the kids will encourage your children to act out, talk to them after the movie. But I have a feeling they know it’s make-believe and that they wouldn’t get away with that behavior at home.
The poop scenes – Most kids (and dads) will find them hysterical. So, don’t take them too seriously but you may want to hide your eyes when they start changing little Zoey… Because I still can’t get that image out of my head. Yuck!
Like I said above, I wasn’t sure when I left the theater. But ya know what? I think it was. It was a typical slapstick comedy that will have kids and many parents bellying laughing even after the credits roll.
Will you be seeing Playing with Fire in theaters, waiting for it to be released on digital or Blu-ray or skipping it all together? I’d love to hear why!
About Playing with Fire