A covert counter-terrorist unit called Black Cell led by Gabriel Shear wants the money to help finance their war against international terrorism, but it's all locked away. Gabriel brings in convicted hacker Stanley Jobson to help him.
Under the watchful eye of his mentor Captain Mike Kennedy, probationary firefighter Jack Morrison matures into a seasoned veteran at a Baltimore fire station. Jack has reached a crossroads, however, as the sacrifices he's made have put him in harm's way innumerable times and significantly impacted his relationship with his wife and kids. Responding to the worst blaze in his career, he becomes trapped inside a 20-story building. And as he reflects on his life, now Deputy Chief Kennedy frantically coordinates the effort to save him.
Ladder 49 introduces us to the life of Jack Morrison (Joaquin Phoenix), a firefighter for the Baltimore City fire department. Jack is assigned to Fire Station 33 as a pipe-man for Ladder 49. (Note: The pipe-man holds the water hose nozzle and sprays water onto the fire.) As a new probationary firefighter, Jack is assigned all the little jobs at the firehouse. Station 33 Captain Mike Kennedy (John Travolta), and the other veteran firefighters love to play jokes on the new rookies, including Jack. Captain Kennedy takes Jack under his wing to make him the best firefighter in the city. Time passes, and Jack is now a seasoned veteran on the rescue team. Ladder 49 has been called on a four-alarm fire to a burning 20-story building. Chief Mike Kennedy, his former Captain, is in command of the fire. Jack and the rescue team brave the fire to rescue anyone trapped inside. They save several people, and Jack continues to search for others. Jack finds a man and lowers him to safety, just before the floor collapses around him. Jack falls through the building into the middle of the inferno, and is rendered unconscious. When he awakens, Jack is able to radio to his men that he is alive. Now Jack is the one who needs to be rescued. Chief Kennedy coordinates the effort to save Jack. Awaiting rescue, Jack begins to relive his life with his wife and kids, and his career through flashbacks. If you like firefighter movies, you will like this one, because some of the rescue scenes are spectacular. The fire scenes capture the real dangers and unpredictability of a fire. One line in the movie states it all, 'Everyone is running out of a burning building and only the firefighters are running into the fire.' The movie shows how brave our firefighters are and why we should honor them. (Touchstone Pictures, Run time 1:55, Rated PG-13)(8/10)
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