on January 09, 1998 by Dwayne E. Leslie
As part of a three-picture deal with Fox following his debut in "Broken Arrow", ex-Raider Howie Long is up to his neck in multiple stunt situations as he portrays a fearless smokejumper who doesn't know the meaning of the word "can't". When a freak fire sparks, he goes to investigate and unknowingly becomes a thorn in the side of a ruthless escaped convict, Shaye ("The Rock's" William Forsythe), who has gone to great lengths to be reunited with over $30 million. With that booty as an incentive, Shaye adds a new meaning to the word hot-head as he plays a deadly game of cat and mouse in the middle of an inferno.
   In this no-brainer fire flick, everything is by the numbers. You have your good and bad guys, the inevitable confrontations, and an unstoppable natural disaster. The thrilling part of the film is watching the well-executed depiction of the furiously raging fire that seems to have full access to the elemental forces in mother nature's arsenal. But the protagonists are always a step ahead of harm and are never in any real danger until the end. At one point it looks like the fire is waiting for the stars to find shelter before it continues.
   The idea for "Firestorm" reportedly came when the film's scripter, Chris Soth, saw an item on the news about a team of men and women who parachute into fires when all other accesses are unavailable to save the lives of strangers. Unfortunately, in the film, these acts of true courage and heroism are only touched upon instead of being the main focal point. Starring Howie Long, Scott Glenn, William Forsythe and Suzy Amis. Directed by Dean Semler. Written by Chris Soth. Produced by Thomas M. Hammel, Joseph Loeb and Matthew Weisman. A Fox release. Action/Adventure. Rated R for violence and language. Running time: 89 min.
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