Heaven's Fire (1999 TV Movie)
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Elements of DIE HARD combine with THE TOWERING INFERNO, as well as small parts from THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE and EARTHQUAKE, to make a somewhat diverting action/disaster flick for the non-discriminating fan.
Some of the plot points don't make too much sense, but other little bits and bites are well-woven into the silly saga of the innocent tourists trapped in the burning high rise with terrorist/thieves, such as Michelle's revenge upon the goon who trapped her in the elevator, and the conveniently-placed throwing star in the hero's pocket that finally takes out the head Bad Guy...sometimes in writing a screenplay, even an action romp like this, it's tough to make all these bits work out.
There must have been a bit of a budget for this film, which apparently aired on the Fox Family channel in 1999. (Yeah, I didn't think this could be a post 9 - 11 idea). The special effects are pretty good, direction is okay apart from a few confusing bits I noticed, acting is pretty good, notably from the two leads, and photography is pretty nice, with good and impressive of shots of fire, flame-overs and explosions.
Over all, this is a decent film for action film freaks. I bought this film on DVD for one dollar...at that price it certainly is worth it, and MUCH better than most one dollar DVDs I have picked up. Wouldn't go out of your way to get it, but it certainly is not horrible enough to fall into the category of so bad that you'll be laughing at its incompetence.
If you want a similar film (with an even sillier plot) that is "so bad it's good", then I suggest you check out the Anna Nicole Smith vehicle SKYSCRAPER. See my review of that film under that title.
On the opposite, we have Dean, also a fired guard, a former friend of Quentin. With his teenage son Jeremy he comes to the building to pick up his fiancée and her daughter. Jeremy don't like his future stepmother and stepsister, and I don't blame him. Of course all four, along with a handful of people from the typical disaster movie crowd, are present right in the moment of the robbery. After the first shoot-out they look at each other, "Oops, nobody was hurt, everything is fine, never mind looking for the shot guards lying all around, let's go!" Real nice people!
Naturally, Dean, who is supposed to be the hero of this flick, leaves his family alone and follows the robbers to the roof. He shoots the pilot and causes the helicopter to crash into the middle of the building, setting it on fire. For undisclosed reasons there are some oil barrels on the roof, they are hit by bullets, and so a second fire starts. Of course Dean, his family, the disaster movie folk, and the robbers are caught between the two fires.
Police and Fire Brigade can't do anything and at least they don't bother the viewers with doing anything. (Which is, in movies like this, usually something stupid.)
So everything is clear, good guys here, bad guys there, and somehow the hero will dispatch the villains and save the courageous and the hysterical after the cowardly and the selfish have fallen into the fire (sorry, no little dog)... But not so fast! Now the only real interesting character comes into play: Female robber Michelle, loved by Quentin but hated by Tom, and locked in an elevator by the latter. By the way, she also happens to be Dean's ex-wife and Jeremy's mother - maybe they should have named the film "Family Inferno". Thankfully, after the good people rescued her, she is not turning into a typical backstabbing femme fatal, still going for the money. Even more thankfully, she is not turning into a heroine, regretful and trying to compensate. She just tries to get out alive - with her son, but not caring much for her ex-husband - and hopefully to weasel out scotfree. When she shoots Tom, it's just revenge and not for a moment she considers to sacrifice herself and to be the one who has to close the strongroom door from the outside.
So, Dean has to do this, leaving his two wives and two children behind. Not surprisingly, he finds a way to survive. Surprisingly, he also saves Quentin from burning alive and hands him over to the law. So they can burn him on the chair instead. (Just kidding, Quentin is white!)
So everything is fine, the surviving disaster movie people are thankful that they survived, had a great adventure, got their children finally to like each other, got the stepson's troublesome natural mother finally locked away, have a hero instead of a loser as father... okay, the not surviving may have asked what exactly caused the fire. The government is thankful too and offers the man who saved their precious printing plates his old job as head of the guards of the Treasury Building.
(Wait a minute! What Treasury Building? They don't have it anymore, thanks to Dean's heroically effort.)
Apparently, Fox TV was using the old HIGHLANDER series' actors' pool for the supporting cast, since no fewer than seven characters in this movie were alums of one HL episode or another.
Not a terribly exciting movie; nothing original. One or two really big plot holes, but at least in comparison to some of the real stinkers I've seen recently (in an effort to find more of Prochnow's films), not bad.
If you're a truly die-hard (no pun intended) fan of Prochnow or Roberts, you'll probably enjoy this film. Otherwise, just go watch DIE HARD again.