FBMR - Ladder 49
Film-Buff Movie Reviews

LADDER 49 (2004) ***

The film opens with Baltimore firefighters responding to an infernal blaze. Each team being responsible for a different task. The Engine 33 team mans the hoses, the Ladder 49 team is search and rescue, and so on. As the Ladder 49 team enters the burning building and proceeds to rescue a number of people trapped, Jack Morrison (Joaquin Phoenix), one of their own firefighters falls through the floor and gets trapped himself. The film, through a series of flashbacks, then tells Jack's story from his first day at the station, to his marriage and family, along with the successes and tragedies that accompanies this profession.

I liked the way this film shifted back and forth between the present fire where Jack is trapped and injured, to his story as a firefighter, showing the camaraderie and brotherhood that exists within this fire station, and ultimately all firefighters. This is not your average, run-of-the-mill Hollywood fire film. Sometimes the challenges prove too much to overcome, and sometimes people are saved. Well done, well acted.