Ladder 49 vs. Backdraft
Posted 26 April 2005 - 10:25 PM
I just watched Ladder 49 the other day. It left me feeling incomplete, as if they only showed me half the film, it just feels empty. Backdraft, with Kurt Russel was insanely better.
First off, the characters. Kurt Russel is a very powerful and prolific actor, remember Tango and Cash, Big Trouble in Little China, The Thing, Dark Blue. He's as Bad-Ass as they come. So he makes for a good 'chief' fireman "Bull". Unlike Kurt Russel's power, John Travolta is far to soft for the part. Robert De Niro had more emotion in his American Express commercial about New York being his home, remember? I like Joaquin Phoenix, don't get me wrong, but I don't think he's ready for Hero/Action/Drama star roles. He's a better apprentice or something, but he doesn't have the maturity William Baldwin had. Speaking of De Niro, he was in Backdraft, and played a cool character that understood how fire worked. Then there's Scott Glenn, sh*t, he's amazing as "Axe", a real villain that you understood and kinda rooted for.
The plot. Ladder 49 basically stole Backdraft's plot, then chose for another dude to die at the end, instead of the chief dying, Phoenix dies. (we can thank the previews for seeing the funeral precession and knowing a main character dies). Backdraft had depth: turmoil between brothers, one being idolized as their father's heir, the other being the true fireman, a bad guy, supporting cast that gave reall depth to the crew of firemen, it had it all.
All the characters in Ladder 49 felt bland and uninteresting, like boring people we all know. The point of movies is to entertain us, not feel that we know an uncle or something that could play the role of a chief with more power. Travolta's name was there to sell the film, everyone in Backdraft was "casted", cuz they fit the part.
I expected Ladder 49 to be a rip-off, but not a carbon copy.
Posted 27 April 2005 - 02:33 PM
The main difference between the two films, IMO, is the character development. I felt no connection to most of the characters in Ladder 49 except for Phoenix's. I really didnt find myself rooting for any of them except for Poenix. I really cant think of any character in Backdraft that I had trouble rooting for although I was pretty upset that DeNiro did not get enough of a role.
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