Superfire (TV Movie 2002) Poster

(2002 TV Movie)

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If you got the hamburger, we got the fire.
George Parker8 March 2003
"Superfire" tells of a raging forest fire from both the perspective of some innocents caught up in the blaze and the smoke jumpers and pilots who fight it. A melodramatic and obvious B-flick, what "Superfire" lacks in class, sophistication, and budget, it makes up for in busy-ness. For example, you got your hero with the bad rap and bad rep in a love/hate thing going on with the resident babe. You got your techno junk stuff which keeps you posted on the fire so everything's as obvious as the "E" on an eye chart. You got your plane held together with spit and a prayer and a bomb thingy which could cook off at any second. You got your cute girl and her mommy and friends helplessly caught in the blaze. You got your smoke jumpin' ground crew who's about to be stir fried. Etc. Etc. And, of course, you got your fire...lots and lots of fire. So, for all it's silly, hacked, contrived, and transparent nonsense, "Superfire" may keep you so busy and involved you don't notice the short side of the flick too much. I don't care much for fire flicks and yawned through "Backdraft". But, "Superfire" I just kind of grinned, bared it, and enjoyed. A must for fire freaks and a good couch potato watch for others. (C+)

Note - If you like this kind of flick, check out Spielberg's "Always" (1989).
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Quite mediocre, yet surprisingly better than expected
Dan Sjöström11 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This two-part mini-series doesn't really have that many good things speaking for it. First of all, it is made for TV, which too often promises a low quality. Second, it is after all a disaster movie, a genre that has been tired for a long time. Just look at Armageddon, The Day After Tomorrow and so on. Yet, in the midst of all the unoriginal characters and lame drama, it actually does have its few good moments.

It all starts with a fire pilot, Jim Merreck, who defies orders and tries to put out a forest fire his own way, resulting in the deaths of 12 smoke jumpers (firefighters operating from the ground). After a 10 month vacation (okay, he got sacked), he has taken his time to study fires, super fires more specifically. His old partner shows up, saying he's wanted back on the job and Jim reluctantly agrees to do so. Although, his little sidestep is all but forgotten by smoke jumpers as well as people at the base, including his old boss. Then, when a couple of fires break out and Jimbo starts talking about the super fires, which don't have much of a recorded history, he's not making it easier for himself. You could think he was begging to get his behind kicked out once more, and truthfully it's not hard to understand why as he seems a little obsessed. However, it later on turns out he's right and a super fire is coming, but that doesn't make him look less crazy.

When it comes to the smoke jumpers they are pretty much that bunch of repeated characters they make fun of in Team America: World Police. For example, we have a cigar-smoking cocky guy, a naive rookie that just screams Goose from Top Gun (I'm not saying he ends up like him), and a team leader who takes his job so seriously that he much rather talks about the fire hazard of pine cones than having some beers with his buddies. Although, Wes Studi does quite good, especially as his character's native American roots are touched upon.

This is probably where I should tell you the main reason I went out of bed at 1:30 in the morning two nights in a row just to tune this in: Ellen Muth. I love Ellen Muth, I adore her and take every chance I get to see something she's in, even if it's garbage. Her character Jill isn't as good as George Lass in Dead Like Me, starting out as a dumb teen who violates her curfew to hang out with the cool kids and treats her old childhood friend very mean. But when they all go to the forest and get trapped in the fire, Jill starts to get interesting, thus Ellen's acting engines kick off for real. Instead of putting up with their immature behaviour, she takes command and does her best to get everybody out of this predicament, not afraid to get angry and yell at them whenever they get too whiny.

I must say things get somewhat better in part 2 when the predicted super fire becomes a reality. Especially when we see the smoke jumpers being overcome by the inferno. The scene where they cover themselves in their heat shelters, practically getting cooked is very shaking and this is where my respect for those who do this for a living in real life grows a thousandfold. Not to mention the people in the control room who can't do more than to just sit and hear their desperation and how they cusp for air over the radio. The smoke jumpers are decimated into the team leader and the rookie, ironically the one you'd expect to get toasted. The two of them do share a good moment, where the elderly and practised passes the torch (bad choice of words, I know) onto the young and inexperienced. Another good moment is soon before Jill discovers her mom has gone to the forest to look for her, and her eyes get filled with tears when she worries what might have happened to her. However, this part isn't that perfect either. There truly are moments of ridiculousness (a kid carrying around a goldfish bowl during the evacuation?!) and even though I'm not an expert on this subject, I'm sure they put out the super fire a little too easily. I don't know if there is a vacuum bomb such as the one being used, but surely those in the forest should have suffocated from its effects. Just look up vacuum in a dictionary, you'll know what I mean.

Of course it ends happily, besides a handful of tragic losses and destroyed homes, but the little plant growing out of the ground before the credits roll clearly symbolizes how life carries on. Although, I must say we were cheated on a more elaborate ending, like an epilogue a few months later, showing how Jill and her mom deal with their house being burned to ashes and other things. But I guess I might give them a little too much credit expecting such a thing.

What could easily be written off as a big hunk of rubbish, manages to raise above this standard if only by a nose length. I hardly think I'd rewatch this unless it would be to see Ellen Muth again. I consider myself as generous by not giving this less than a 6 out of 10.
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Good special Effects
Advocate8622 May 2002
Superfire is a special effects-heavy telefilm that takes a look at the high-risk world of smoke jumpers and tanker pilots who must contend with a deadly phenomenon that is all-too-possible.

In the forests of the western United States, where controlled burns are no longer policy and old timber reigns, three raging fires threaten to merge into a "superfire," the world's worst possible kind of fire with the explosive power to rival an atomic bomb. With a group of teenagers stranded in the forest and a residential development already overrun, two pilots and their ground team are the last line of defense to save an entire Oregon town from destruction.
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If only they had all burned
SlySy1 November 2003
Whilst on night-shift I happened to catch this durge on Sky movies. All I can say is that after about half of it I wished I was in the center of that fire. I know it's a TV movie and on a low budget but thats no excuse for making a film that made me want to scoop my eyeballs out with a rusty teaspoon. Avoid at all costs.
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More awful than awful
mightyjak14 May 2008
If there was any way to rate this with negative numbers, I would. I can't even begin to describe the awful depths to which this movie descends. I am constantly amazed at the utter schlock created by people who actually get paid. I can only hope anyone involved in this movie is blacklisted forever.

The magnitude of sheer ignorance in making this film is astounding and inexcusable. It's not like there aren't people who do this for a living every day who could advise as to how fire is actually fought. This is an embarrassment to my profession and to others who fight fire. Damn you all for making such a terrible movie.
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Terrible movie.
dbltrack8 December 2005
Not a good movie. At all. Extraordinarily unrealistic...even for a movie. The teenagers stumble out of the ravaged forest looking like they spent then night at a Holiday Inn, and then messed up their hair and put a little dirt on their faces. The firefighters, dead and alive, are in their personal fire shelters upside down...lying on their backs instead of huddled face down underneath the shelter...they're not sleeping bags! jeez. someone didn't do their research. And well in short...the movie was ridiculous. The story of real smokejumpers is pretty dramatic stuff. It's a shame this movie didn't do it justice at all. Really, really cheap attempt at drama.
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