Ladder 49

2004

Action / Drama / Thriller

58
IMDb Rating 6.5 10 52725

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 4 / 10
1.60 GB
1920*1080
English
PG-13
24.000 fps
1hr 55 min
P/S 4 / 16

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Buddy-51 7 / 10

a film that overcomes its clichés

Joaquin Phoenix gives a moving performance in "Ladder 49," playing a Baltimore firefighter who goes from rookie to 10-year veteran in the course of the story.

Although its chief selling point is its spectacular - but never hyperbolic - fire sequences, "Ladder 49" is actually at its most compelling when it focuses on the struggle firemen go through trying to balance their high risk occupation with their role as husband and father.

In addition to Phoenix, who brings a self-effacing strength and heroism to his character, there are fine performances by John Travolta as the captain of the station, and Jacinda Barrett as Phoenix's understanding but understandably concerned wife.

In the first half of the film, the screenplay threatens to erupt into a raging inferno of stereotypes and clichés, as the characters take an occasional time out from firefighting for puppy love romance at the supermarket, frat boy antics at the fire station and domestic squabbles involving neglected wives and children at the old homestead. But about halfway through the film, the deeper themes rise to the surface and "Ladder 49" begins to explore complex issues in a mature way. The quiet scenes between Phoenix and Travolta, and Phoenix and Barrett are surprisingly subtle, thoughtful and intelligently written.

It takes a while to get there, but "Ladder 49" turns out to be a tribute worthy of its subject.

Reviewed by bopdog 10 / 10

Wonderful! Authentic, rich, and very human. Sure to become a classic

I'll see virtually anything with John Travolta in it. And I have pretty much come to the same conclusion about Joacin Phoenix as well. Both great actors. 'Ladder 49' is a tremendous vehicle for both guys. With other actors, and maybe other directors, etc., this movie could well have been all macho. You know, the Brad Pitt, Christian Slater kind of winking at the camera, 'aren't we cool' kind of posing. This movie was different, and it caught me a bit off guard, in a pleasant way.

The fire and fire trucks and the shouting and equipment and all of that--- it was fine. I was convinced enough to never think about it. It was also exciting, too. But what was more compelling for me were the people, the human beings. Jack Morrison's (the Phoenix character) wife, played by Whats-her-name (she's new, but will surely become a star), was so un-whiny and real that I swear know her (I don't, she's fictional, but you know what I mean). Travolta amazed, as usual. And all the supporting cast fit nicely under Phoenix and Travolta's skillful actorly wings.

The director also made one of my previous faves, 'My Dog Skip'. This movie is completely different, of course, but it is equally rich and authentic. After the recent disappointmets of seeing such fluff as the mediocre 'House of Flying Dragons', and the appallingly dreadful camp-fest 'Alexander', I found this a treasure. i am sure you will too, and that it will become a genuine classic. I gave it a 10 out of 10.

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.

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