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
At the beginning of the film, the Third Alarm assignment to the large warehouse fire was given the location of Newgate and Newkirk Streets, which is the exact location of that very building that was burning. See more »
In the warehouse with the second victim, Jack gives him his mask to breathe through. When you pull off your mask, you should push the blue button. If you don't, the tube the air goes trough doesn't lock and all of your air goes away. When you put the mask on, and start to breathe, the tube unlocks itself, so Jack should have locked it again when he took the mask back. See more »
Hey! What the hell is going on in here! Huh? I come back from tellin' a mother her son is dead, and this is goin' on, in my house, IN MY HOUSE! We deal with this by stickin' together. We take it. We learn from it. And we get back on the god damn truck and that's how we honor Dennis. You got that? Anyone think about lowering the flag? Do it!
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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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