Ladder 49

This movie had a lot of potential. I wanted to see a story about the life of a firefighter, about what his life and relationships are like, what his job entails, how he starts a rookie but grows into a veteran. And I did see that, but it just wasn't very well done. The film touches on all of these things, but it never delves very far below the surface. To make matters worse, the ending made no sense. I can't say much more about it without giving too much away, but I just didn't understand the writer's choice of ending; it didn't match the rest of the movie very well. The acting was hit or miss. Joaquin Phoenix was pretty good and most of the other firefighters were fine. Travolta was good in some parts, unbearably cheesy in others. The only performance that didn't work at all was Jacinda Barrett, who played Joaquin Phoenix's wife. It's not that she was particularly bad; she just didn't bring anything interesting to her character. I did enjoy the film, but I won't be looking for it on DVD.

Viewed: 9/30/2004 | Released: 9/19/2004 | Score: C

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