Playing with Fire is risible white-hot garbage.
“But I’m reading too much into a dumb family comedy, clearly. Who cares about any of that stuff so long as it’s funny? Well, if you somehow thought the director of Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (Andy Fickman) and the writer of The Christmas Chronicles (Matt Lieberman, working with first-timer Dan Ewen) were going to be able to put together a rip-snorting yuck-fest, I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news for you. This is a movie which believes that a brick shithouse of a growling man operatically singing the theme song to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is the height of comedy. There are a lot of My Little Pony references in Playing with Fire, much of them revolving around the supposedly inherent hilarity of a grown man being able to rattle off Friendship is Magic trivia, and the finale ends up being such a merchandise commercial for that now-concluded show I found myself triple-checking the credits to make certain this was a Nickelodeon Movies production and not a trojan-ed Hasbro Studios venture. Like I said, no amount of cringe-inducing Alexa or BTS references (both of which have tangibly been penned by writers who don’t understand either thing or memes in general) can stave off the impression that this script has been stuck in a junk drawer for the past four years.”