Under the watchful eye of his mentor Captain Mike Kennedy, probationary firefighter Jack Morrison matures into a seasoned veteran at a Baltimore fire station. Jack has reached a crossroads,... See full summary »
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Under the watchful eye of his mentor Captain Mike Kennedy, probationary firefighter Jack Morrison matures into a seasoned veteran at a Baltimore fire station. Jack has reached a crossroads, however, as the sacrifices he's made have put him in harm's way innumerable times and significantly impacted his relationship with his wife and kids. Responding to the worst blaze in his career, he becomes trapped inside a 20-story building. And as he reflects on his life, now Assistant Chief Kennedy frantically coordinates the effort to save him. Written by
Costume designer 'Renee Kalfus' designed rubber air tanks as a substitute for the real 30 pound tanks for scenes where the firefighters did not need to use the real tanks. See more »
When Chief Kennedy is talking to trapped Jack Morrison on the radio from outside the building, when showing Jack trapped in the burning building, the type of radio Chief Kennedy is using changes multiple times. Sometime Kennedy is talking on a portable radio with no mic attached to it, and sometimes he is talking on a portable radio with a speaker mic attached to it, and is holding the mic in his hand. However it is common for the BCFD to run on both a TAC channel and the communications channel therefore causing a chief to have 2 radios. See more »
Linda, what is wrong?
I saw you on the news, Jack, dangling from a rope! How could you tell me that it's not dangerous?
I never said it wasn't dangerous.
When we talked about it, I asked you and you said it wasn't dangerous.
I said it wasn't any more dangerous than being on the engine! I never said it wasn't dangerous!
Do... do... do you see me right now? Do you? 'Cos this isn't just about us. Have you thought about that?
[Jack approaches Linda]
I'm scared. I ...
[...] See more »
The firehouse featured in the movie has 2 vehicles. One of them is the more conventional fire truck you see around, the one with the water hoses. That truck is codenamed Engine 33 in this movie. Ladder 49 is its companion truck, the one with the mega-ladder. This truck comprises of the brave men in the fire department's rescue team, those who risk their lives going into burning buildings without water (unlike Engine 33's), for the sole mission of saving other people's lives.
Which raises the question everyone asks of emergency responders (police, fire dept, etc) - what makes them do what they do? In this case, also raised in the movie, what makes them rush into a burning building when everyone else is running out?
We follow the life of Joaquin Phoenix's character, Jack Morrison, whom we see from rookie firefighter (waterboy) to hero, from singlehood to fatherhood. This film, through his character, humanizes emergency responders, their lives, their camaraderie, their courage. It also explores relationships within their families, which is key, as family members struggle to understand the risks their spouses/fathers undertake everyday in their job.
Don't expect another Backdraft, which was more of an "arson-whodunnit", with spectacular beastly fires engulfing the screen. This film dwells more on characterization and drama, with well placed action set pieces between slow moments which will set you thinking, and at the end of the film, appreciating the courage of these brave men and the threats they face daily in their job.
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