About the Post

Author Information

I'm not a film critic, but I'll tell you what I think about the movies I watch. I enjoy understanding the history behind the movies we watch, as well as the collaborative effort necessary to produce movies.

Backdraft


Backdraft 1Backdraft (1991)

Directed by Ron Howard

Written by Gregory Widen

Starring: Kurt Russell, William Baldwin, Robert DeNiro, Donald Sutherland, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Scott Glenn, J.T. Walsh

Brian McCaffrey (Baldwin) has just joined the crew of Firehouse 17, the same station as his brother Stephen (Russell). The two have had a tense relationship since the death of their firefighter father when the two were children. Meanwhile, the city of Chicago has become the playground for a dangerous arsonist. When Brian is pulled from duty to help investigator Donald Rimgale (DeNiro) investigate the fires, the pair find themselves on the path of a skilled fire starter. Now they’re racing to uncover the person behind the fires before anyone else dies.

Backdraft 6This film was released in 1991, and became an immediate success amongst fans and critics alike. Director Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind) took on the project, working with the screenplay by Gregory Widen (Highlander). The cast features a long list of well-known actors starting with Kurt Russell (Tombstone), William Baldwin (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), and Robert DeNiro (The Mission). The list also includes Donald Sutherland (Ordinary People), Jennifer Jason Leigh (Road to Perdition), Scott Glenn (The Paperboy), and J.T. Walsh (A Few Good Men).

Backdraft 7The story written for this film is a relatively simple one. The relationship between the brothers is interesting, creating some of the needed friction for the story. The mystery aspects of the film are also good, but do come off a bit predictably in the end. Overall, the movie works because of the action sequences and the emotional content of the relationships between the characters. The dialogue is nicely written and the characters are well-developed early in the movie. The mystery might not be too complicated, but the overall story works nicely.

Backdraft 5This is a well-acted film from pretty much everyone in the cast. Kurt Russell gives one of his better performances as Stephen, the rough cut older brother. His chemistry with Baldwin is also good in this one. The two play off one another the way that is expected between brothers. Robert DeNiro does a great job in his role in this one also. The film also features a great performance in a smaller role by Donald Sutherland. Jennifer Jason Leigh, Scott Glenn, and J.T. Walsh also do good work in their roles in this film. Overall, this one features great acting that brings the story to life nicely. The men playing the firefighters in this one also did a good job with the physical aspects of the film.

Backdraft 9From a technical standpoint, this film was a huge success. While the story might be a little too simple, the effects put this movie over the top. The fire scenes and the camera work done to capture them are amazing. Every action sequence is powerfully done, featuring great stunt work also. The film earned Oscar nominations for technical work, including Best Sound, Best Sound Effects, and Best Visual Effects. In addition, the film features a nice score from the talented Hans Zimmer (The Holiday).

Backdraft 8This is a really good movie overall. The weakness in the story makes this a bit predictable, but otherwise the film works nicely. I would suggest this to fans of movies with emotional drama and action mixed in. I would also recommend this to fans of Russell, DeNiro, Baldwin, or Sutherland. This is a fun movie that I’ve enjoyed watching over and over. I give this one 3.9 out of 5 stars.

Rating: R

Running Time: 137 Minutes

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

10 Comments on “Backdraft”

  1. Horrorville August 22, 2014 at 2:28 PM #

    This was a awesome movie, great review!

    Like

    • jeffro517 August 22, 2014 at 2:30 PM #

      Thanks for checking it out. Despite the weaknesses in the story, this is a good watch.

      Like

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Flatliners | Did You See That One? - October 20, 2014

    […] The cast also includes Oscar winner Julia Roberts (Notting Hill), as well as William Baldwin (Backdraft) and Oliver Platt (X-Men: First […]

    Like

  2. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire | Did You See That One? - December 11, 2014

    […] This movie is the second installment from the popular Hunger Games book series written by Suzanne Collins. The film was directed by Francis Lawrence (Constantine). The screenplay was written by Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire) and Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3). The cast brings back a long list of talented actors including Oscar winners Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook) and Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote). Oscar-nominated actors Woody Harrelson (Out ofthe Furnace) and Stanley Tucci (The Devil Wears Prada) are also features. The cast includes Josh Hutcherson (Bridge to Terabithia), Liam Hemsworth (The Last Song), and Donald Sutherland (Backdraft). […]

    Like

  3. A Beautiful Mind | Did You See That One? - March 3, 2015

    […] by Sylvia Nasar. The novel was adapted for the film by Akiva Goldsman (The Client) with Ron Howard (Backdraft) taking on the project as director. For their work Howard and Goldsman both won Oscars. Howard for […]

    Like

  4. Bone Tomahawk | Did You See That One? - October 7, 2015

    […] by S. Craig Zahler (Asylum Blackout), making his directorial debut. The film stars Kurt Russell (Backdraft), Patrick Wilson (Insidious), Matthew Fox (Alex Cross), Richard Jenkins (Killing Them Softly), and […]

    Like

  5. The Hateful Eight | Did You See That One? - January 8, 2016

    […] one includes Samuel L. Jackson (Jackie Brown), Kurt Russell (Bone Tomahawk), Jennifer Jason Leigh (Backdraft), Walton Goggins (Lincoln), Demi├ín Bichir (A Better Life), Tim Roth (Selma), Michael Madsen […]

    Like

  6. In the Heart of the Sea | Did You See That One? - January 29, 2016

    […] 2015 Ron Howard (Backdraft) film was adapted from Nathaniel Philbrick’s 2000 book In the Heart of the Sea. The […]

    Like

  7. Dunkirk | Did You See That One? - August 27, 2017

    […] contrasting the natural beauty of the locations with the horror of war. The score by Hans Zimmer (Backdraft) also elevated this one. The costuming and stunt work also help to make this feel authentic […]

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: