Sunday, October 24, 2004

Ladder 49 - A Review


Jasper Speaks:

I saw this movie today with Kendra and our dear friends Nate and Angela. I am still trying to decide what I thought. This was not a bad film. It just was not a great film. It is the story of one man in a fire department. It follows the life of Jack, a young firefighter from his first day on the job until a major fire several years later. I found a lot of the plot predictable. I leaned over to Kendra on many occasions and said this will happen next or of course they have to introduce this character for this reason which did finally pan out as I had thought.

<\It was enjoyable. The fire scenes were top notch and Joaquin Phoenix gives a good performance. However, there was very little character development for anyone but Jack. There were other men in the firehouse and there were several occasions we were asked to care for them but the writers and director had not given us enough emotional connections to make that happen.

Some of the finest acting came when Joaquin Phoenix did not speak. The subtext he brought across with simple looks was incredible. The worst acting came from John Travolta. I have never been a big Travolta fan but in this film in particular in his most emotionally charged scene, his acting was atrocious. Here he is yelling at the men of the fire house after a tragedy and I am laughing. His acting was so bad here. I have seen seventh graders deliver lines better.

Overall, I think this is a good rental flick. If you haven't seen it, you can wait. Joaquin Phoenix is proving again that he is a star in the making. His acting is superb and I hope Hollywood continues to reward him. He is the strongest link in a chain that was just about average.

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