Ah, the magic of Blu-Ray. What other reason would Fire With Fire, a decent teen romance, get any play in the 21st century? The story is timeless -- 2012's acclaimed Moonrise Kingdom comes to mind as a modern take on a similar story -- but this particular incarnation feels a tiny bit dated (if less than some movies of the same vintage). This disc is almost certainly just for the benefit of those who saw the movie when it was new and have fond memories of it, but it succeeds on the strength of the chemistry between its two leads and the general skill with which it was constructed.
Script-wise, Fire With Fire has a decent pedigree: Bill Phillips adapted Christine for John Carpenter, and Warren Skaaren would go on to write Beetlejuice and Batman for Tim Burton before passing away early. The story, which has Lisa devising a dance for the boys' camp and the girls' school, and an eventual dash for a cabin in the mountains, is nicely streamlined; supporting characters like Lisa and Joe's best friends feel nicely rounded without taking away too much screen time or focus from the main characters. Their schemes to see each other are not too wacky or complicated, and the film avoids relying on coincidence and chance (other than the characters meeting one another) to create conflict.
In theory, there might be an "opposites attract" angle in mind for the leads, but Sheffer and Madsen play their roles straight. There's never any dithering about her prim and proper upbringing vs. his criminal past or any of that nonsense: they're just undeniably attracted to one another. Their playful electricity is surprisingly infectious, carrying the film along through the dance and into the home stretch, when they go on the lam. Polito, for his part, doesn't play up his villainous "Boss" too much: he's a dick, and he thinks Joe is causing trouble, but he's not a maniacal madman. Jean Smart also has a small role as one of the nuns at Lisa's school, although her role is more notable for her future fame than the character she was given.
Every movie fan has an unbreakable childhood bond for a movie or two, and I'm sure Fire With Fire is that movie for at least a few people. The march of time may have rendered many of its cultural touchstones out of date, but, viewed in 2012, the film holds up pretty nicely, thanks to good chemistry and strong writing.
The Video and Audio
Sound on this one is a DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 track, which sounds quite nice. Dialogue is clean and nicely separated, music is crisp and lively, and the sound of the forest is nicely rendered. The only complaint -- you guessed it -- is the lack of subtitles or captions.