Ladder 49

2004

Action / Drama / Thriller

53
IMDb Rating 6.5 10 51597

Synopsis


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July 30, 2012 at 06:01 PM

Director

Cast

John Travolta as Captain Mike Kennedy
Joaquin Phoenix as Jack Morrison
Robert Patrick as Lenny Richter
Billy Burke as Dennis Gauquin
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
751.22 MB
1280*720
English
PG-13
24.000 fps
1hr 55 min
P/S 3 / 8
1.60 GB
1920*1080
English
PG-13
24.000 fps
1hr 55 min
P/S 5 / 12

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by JackCerf 7 / 10

Good On Its Own Terms

During the 1850s, Currier & Ives published a series of prints called The American Fireman, showing handsome, gallant firemen rushing to blazes, hosing down the flames, and rescuing the helpless. In 1902 the first American movie to use dramatic editing, Edwin S. Porter's Life of an American Fireman, showed handsome, gallant firemen rushing to blazes, hosing down the flames, and rescuing the helpless. Ladder 49 -- well, you see the pattern here. It's an effective modern expression of a long tradition, and critics who complain that it was not harsh enough and didn't show enough flaws -- in short, that it was not F/X's Rescue Me -- miss the point. It didn't want to be, and people like me who are suckers for men who run into burning buildings wanted exactly the kind of picture it presents.

It works because Joaquin Phoenix and Jacinda Barrett make it work. They're both way too good looking for the roles -- particularly Barrett, who never shows any discernible wear and tear from 10 years of raising a couple of kids in a row house on a fireman's salary. But that's Hollywood, and Currier & Ives firemen were pretty handsome too. The principals give believable performances as people who are decent and sincere but not very articulate or well schooled, and who are content with the modest satisfactions of work, family, church and friends. Speech is not their language. When they're courting, and when they're coming to terms with the dangers and fears that go with the Job, they sound believably sincere because their thoughts and feelings are just a little bit bigger than they are able to express in words.

To me, the key to the characters is a bit of byplay on their first date. Linda has just told Jack that she works in a store where the customers make their own jewelry and that she's made some of the jewelry she's wearing. Jack nervously asks her, "Are you some kind of artist?" Linda replies, "No, it's just a job. I help people." He has actually asked her whether she think's she's somebody creative, somebody special, and therefore somebody better than a guy like him, and she reassures him that she's just a working person like he is and wouldn't consider herself above being married to a handsome fireman.

The other firefighters are Jack's only family and become Lindas's. Though they're both young, neither has visible parents or siblings at the wedding or later at the kids' birthday parties. Instead, Chief Kennnedy fills the role of Uncle/Grandpa. Jack doesn't go to bed with Linda or tell her that he loves her until after she's passed muster with the other firemen at the bar, and the other wives welcome her into the family at the wedding reception.

The rituals of the Roman Catholic Church -- marriage, baptism, midnight mass on Christmas Eve, and of course the funeral -- are the milestones of Jack's life with Linda. Even the mildly blasphemous mock confessions used to haze rookie firemen show an acceptance of the sacred as an everyday part of life.

Bottom line is an idealized, sentimental portrait of an Irish Catholic working guy who loves his kids, loves his wife, and above all loves the Job because he gets to help people. I know what it leaves out, but that's another movie. I wouldn't have Ladder 49 any other way.

Reviewed by SnoopyStyle 6 / 10

solid firefighting melodrama but nothing more

Baltimore firefighter Jack Morrison (Joaquin Phoenix) saves a man in a massive waterfront grain elevator fire. He is hit by a massive explosion and gets trapped. In flashbacks, Jack is a rookie in Ladder Company 49 led by the Mike Kennedy (John Travolta). He tries to fit in and gets hazed. He meets and marries Linda (Jacinda Barrett). They have a family together and he fights fires with his mates.

It's a firefighting melodrama. There is plenty of firefighting action. Its greatest sin is that it doesn't stand out. I remember the rookie hazing but nothing much more. I think the grain elevator fire makes for an exciting action thriller movie. The rest of this movie would make for a nice TV firefighter procedural show. The acting is solid. It's a competent movie but nothing spectacular.

Reviewed by kallep-72126 3 / 10

silly movie

My wife put this movie on the other day and made me watch it with her. I had no hopes of it being anything other than unrealistic Hollywood entertainment. Though I really hope American fire fighters aren't as useless and dumb as portrayed in Ladder 49. Could have been a good movie I guess, if it weren't for the fact that I, as a fireman myself, just couldn't see past all the annoying details and the "we put our lives on the line cus we're heros"-bullshit... So many stupid scenes that made me cringe. The steam accident, the roof top rope rescue, the fall through burning roof incident... Yeah the roof on this abandoned building is burning like crazy....let's walk over it. Derp. Acting was decent though, Phoenix is always good.

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