Backdraft Dvd

Written by Sarah Provost
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A murderous arsonist is on the loose in Chicago, and two warring brothers are among the firefighters trying to stop him in Backdraft, directed by Ron Howard. The brothers are Kurt Russell and William Baldwin. The rest of the stellar cast includes Robert de Niro, Donald Sutherland, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rebecca de Mornay, Scott Glenn, and J.T. Walsh.

The siblings' firefighter father died heroically, and both brothers have to live with that legacy. Baldwin's Brian is the rookie, trying desperately to live up to both his father and his macho older brother. DeNiro is subdued but effective as the fire investigator, and Sutherland enjoys himself fully as the creepy ex-arsonist who consults for him. Watching these two pros play off each other is one of the genuine pleasures of this film.

There's an evil alderman (Walsh) who is trying to cut the fire department budget. There are the two embattled love relationships, with Baldwin's ex-girlfriend and Russell's soon to be ex-wife. The real star, though, is the fire, the "beast" as the firefighters call it. They're half in love with fire, and seeing its vicious beauty in a way we've never seen it before makes us understand why.

Spectacular Fire Effects
State of the art special effects make it seem like the actors are actually inside these boiling infernos of flame, and we feel as though we're right beside them. The backdraft effect itself, in which a tiny whiff of oxygen causes a hellacious explosion, is stunning and fearsome. Though the plot doesn't offer a lot of surprises, the acting and effects make this a very watchable film.


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