Film Fan Dojo was recently treated to a screen copy of the Nicholas Ortiz film Jugando Con Fuego. The copy was provided courtesy of Deviant Children Productions and R4 Films. We are extremely honored to be given this opportunity to review this film before it’s planned late April release. This review is spoiler free. We hope you enjoy our review of Jugando Con Fuego!
Director: Nicholas Ortiz
Story by Robert Jefferson
Action Design by Team One Take Action
Starring: Robert Samuels, Hector Sorio, Jose Manuel, Rosalinda Vazquez, Armando Blackguard, Juanita Reyes, Tora Aledia, Miguel Peralta, Robert Jefferson
Plot: Jugando con Fuego is the story of James Forge (Robert Samuels), a former C.I.A. agent whose covert operation in New York goes bad. The notorious Tony Lobo’s (Hector Soria) wife and child are killed in the operation. Forge is forced to retire and moves to Mexico with his wife. Tony Lobo finds out that James Forge and his wife are in Mexico and sends his hit squad to exact revenge!
Jugando Con Fuego is the result of some of indie action movies’ top studios working together: R4 Films, Deviant Children Productions, Team One Take Stunt Action Design, B Squad Accion, and executive producer Mark Wiley’s TAMBULI MEDIA (Made in Chinatown) team up to bring the fire with this ambitious entry into the action movie genre.
Director Nicholas Ortiz (Black Betty) crafts a visual story of grit and vengeance to satisfy the action junkie. Told with some flashbacks and character monologues, he manages to weave a coherent story into 30 minutes. Shot in Tijuana, Mexico Jugando Con Fuego is a cross between Die Hard and Man on Fire. Leading man Robert Samuels gives a strong, confident performance as retired CIA operative James Forge. His somewhat disheveled appearance, the grey beard, bloody clothes, and determined yet weary walk speak to the battles he once had as a top agent. Samules handles this well and shows his range and growth as an actor. Hector Soria brings a chilling, cold prescience as the main bad guy, Tony Lobo (he is not to be trifled with) whose cool demeanor hides hatred and seething vengeance ready to burst.
I am excited to see future films from the team of Samuels (R4 Films), Nicholas Ortiz ( Deviant Children Productions), and Team One Take Stunt Action Design (Hector Soria). Jugando Con Fuego is some much-needed heat and a film worth watching and owning! Check out Jugando Con Fuego on its planned late April release date.
FFD Fight Scene Review:
Jugando Com Fuego pushes the comfort zone of star Robert Samuels in a very good and satisfying way for the audience. Samuels, the only African-American member of the prestigious Hong Kong Stuntman Association and the ONLY American disciple of HK cinema legend Sammo Hung, is used to the artistic action stylings of Hong Kong style action (check out his choreography in Shadow Fist). In Jugando Con Fuego, Samules shows us his fight scene diversity as he trades the kung fu shapes for brutal, reality-based hand to hand and weapon action. The action is choreographed by Team One Take Stunt Action Design, Hector Soria and Orlando Cruz as well as B Squad Accion, who weave in a mixture of gunplay, hand to hand combat, brutal edged weapons work. Be sure to look out for the 2 on 1 fight between Forge (Samuels), Guapo (Jose Manuel), and Nissa (Rosalind Vazquez) as well as the multi-person fight between Forge and Lobo’s henchmen. The bathroom scene channels The Raid, yet with the distinct flavor only these teams can bring to movie combat. While not as over the top as the John Wick Franchise, Jugando does have similar dynamics in terms of how our characters opt for weapons first to keep the fights brutally efficient. If you are a fan of more realistic, modern-day fight (and to see Samuels, A Hung Gar Kung Fu Master kick ass down and dirty) you will love the fight scenes in this movie!
Fans of gritty, modern action will want to add this to their collection. Jugando Con Fuego concisely tells the story of revenge and vengeance in a brutally satisfying way. The combination of Director Ortiz, HK Legend Robert Samuels, Hector Soria and the rest of the cast and crew proves they can achieve an enjoyable action film with great cinematography, subtle acting, and satisfying action. Add to that banging music by Reese Tanaka ENTERTAINMENT and Kollective Music which enhances the gritty atmosphere, Jugando Con Fuego is firing on all cylinders!
And here’s a bonus: a making of featurette which contains behind the scenes footage, conversations with the cast, action directors and writers that bring the film to a runtime of a full-length feature! Film Fan Dojo recommends Jugando Con Fuego as a welcome addition to any and all action movie lovers’ library!