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Ladder 49 (2004)

Director:
Jay Russell
COUNTRY
USA
GENRE
Drama/Action
NORWEGIAN TITLE
Ladder 49
RUNNING TIME
105 minutes
Producer:
Casey Silver
Screenwriter:
Lewis Colick


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Jack Morrison Joaquin Phoenix ½
Captain Mike Kennedy John Travolta ½
Linda Morrison Jacinda Barrett
Lenny Richter Robert Patrick
Tommy Drake Morris Chestnut
Dennis Gauquin Billy Burke ½
Ray Gauquin Balthasar Getty

 

Review

Jay Russell tells this story about firefighters effectively and passionately. It is a banal film without many artistic aspects, but it has an undeniable charm and knows which buttons to push in order to get the required emotional effect. And the narrative style is well-crafted and has drive, even if it is quite predictable. A lot of credit, however, should go to Joaquin Phoenix who gives an impressive performance - tributing the workmanship, pride and idealism that defines his character. Phoenix is particularly good as the unexperienced firefighter; his naïvety and boyishness later turns into a protective and mature father and husband. It is an accomplished performance, and it gives the otherwise somewhat saccharine finale the force it needs. Between some stereotypes and clichéd dialogue, Ladder 49 is a detailed and valuable portrait of a profession. Overly romanticized yes, but not dishonest. It's like every kid who wants to be a fireman never grew up. And there are also some fine character realtions and performances, notably Robert Patrick's finest turn since Terminator 2 and a talented Jacinda Barrett as Phoenix's wife.

Copyright © 30.1.2005 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang [HAVE YOUR SAY]