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A rookie firefighter tries to earn the respect of his older brother and other firefighters while taking part in an investigation of a string of arson/murders. This detailed look into the duties and private lives of firemen naturally features widespread pyrotechnics and special effects. Written by
Keith Loh <email@example.com>
Although Backdraft got Oscar nominations for Best Sound and best visual and audio effects what drives this Ron Howard film is the performances he got from Kurt Russell and Billy Baldwin as the firefighting McCaffrey brothers.
The brothers have a lot of distance in their ages as Russell practically raised McCaffrey after their firefighter father was killed on the job. Baldwin realizes he has a big legacy with the Chicago Fire Department and he's hesitant about it. After some issues with Russell, Baldwin gets assigned to arson investigator Robert DeNiro.
Which gets Baldwin involved in DeNiro's investigation of some strange arson fires that were set to Backdraft and cause homicides and there is a connection between three seemingly unrelated deaths.
The fire effects were great and the location shooting in Chicago a definite plus. Backdraft is the kind of a film you just cannot make on a studio back-lot which 50 years ago it would have been.
I'm surprised some Oscar nominations didn't come for either Russell or Baldwin. Their performances are so good you forget they're actors and you think you are watching firefighting drama.
And Donald Sutherland's bit role as the Hannibal the Cannibal of arsonists is one you'll remember. He has two scenes, one with DeNiro at a parole hearing and later one with Baldwin as Baldwin seeks expert opinion on the arsonist's technique. In that scene Sutherland evokes Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter when FBI agent Jodie Foster seeks his expertise.
And this review is dedicated to all the firefighters all over the world who take on that terribly important job to protect citizens from flame. After watching Backdraft you might get an insight into why the ancient cave people worshiped this phenomenon.
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