movie trailer (apple.com - quicktime)
NOTE: This spoiler was sent in by LorenCast who says... "This movie is a little sappy containing a lot of flashbacks of the firefighter's life."
The movie is about Jack Morrison (Joaquin Phoenix), a firefighter on location at a 20 story building on fire. He is with three other firefighters on the 12th floor of the building searching for two guys they heard were still inside.
They find one and two of the firemen take him out while Jack and another stay to look for the other guy.
Jack finds the guy laying on the floor and just then you start to hear explosions going off and blocking his path out. He goes to the window and ties the guy to ropes and harnesses.
Meanwhile, the firefighters down below are preparing the truck to lift up the bucket to get the guy. The bucket doesn't quite reach so Jack has to get him to lower himself down while Jack holds the ropes. The guy is upset because he is afraid to go down. To ease him Jack gives him his oxygen mask to breathe into and talks to him to gain his trust. The guy gets in the bucket OK and just then a large explosion goes off right behind Jack causing the area he's standing in to collapse and he falls through.
They next show him laying on the ground bleeding and too weak to get up. This is where he starts to flashback to when he first started as a firefighter, walking into the station, Ladder 49 and he meets all the guys including his chief, Mike Kennedy (John Travolta).
The station seems a little laid back all the guys play jokes on each other and John Travolta is an easy going guy. They show flashes of Jack cleaning a lot. Being The Rookie he has to do all the work and he hasn't been in any real fire situations for awhile.
One day they're playing cards, talking and the alarm goes off; its a townhome on fire. John Travolta is right behind Jack coaching him on what to do. Jack is the guy that holds the hose and points it at the fires. Hes learning while hosing this fire and is able to put it out before the structure is ruined.
Next they flash to him with the guys out at the bar and at the grocery store. Hes with one of the guys from the station and they pick up on these girls, one being actress Jacinda Barrett.
They go out to dinner later that night and he really likes her but hes a shy guy. They flash around to them dating and talking on the phone and him telling her that he belongs to her. Next they show them getting married and all the guys at the wedding singing on stage. The next scene is at a bar celebrating St. Patricks Day. The guy that was with Jack at the grocery store when they met is Jack's best friend in the movie along with his brother who also works at the station. He gives her a drink and she says she just wants a coke and he asks her jokingly if she's pregnant and Jack looks at her and she says she is.
They next show where they are at this old apt bldg. and it's on fire and there are a team of firefighters on the roof poking the rooftop to make sure where they are stepping isnt soft by the fire. A firefighter talks to Jack's brother about how the building should just burn when all of a sudden he looks at the brother and then falls into the blazing fire.
They determine that he can't be saved. The chief, John Travolta goes into the red firefighter car with a priest and the brother to talk to the Mother. While they are gone Jack and three other guys are sitting at a table sad and talking about the guy that just died and one guy, the kind of prick of the station played by Robert Patrick (Terminator 2, X Files) is saying that the guy wasnt paying attention to what he was doing and they start to fight. Just then John Travolta comes in and breaks it up yelling about how can they fight when they need to stick together, etc.
We see them all at the funeral and Jack's wife still pregnant is looking around at the family the firefighter left behind and his young children and she starts to worry. Meanwhile Jack is very sullen all the time and on edge because his best friend died, he decides to take over his best friends spot as search and rescue instead of a being the water sprayer. He tells his wife and she is upset because it is potentially more dangerous than being behind the water hose.
To prove this they show him on his first day as search and rescue rescuing this guy from an 8 10 story building and they guy is on the ledge screaming hysterically and Jack has to be lowered down on the ropes and grab this guy. The guy jumps on him before he's ready and they go swinging around hitting the building while a news helicopter is recording this. He finally shatters a window of a floor below and they get to a safe floor. When he gets home his wife is upset because she saw this and she's afraid for the 2 children they now have and of loosing him.
They later show him at his daughters birthday party. The chief and everyone are there. The chief is very close to the family and the kids.
The next day or so they are in a warehouse fire searching for victims when they decide to evacuate. Just then his friend Morris Chestnut (Boys N the Hood, Two can play that game) is shot with hot steam and his skin on his face is melted off. Hes in the hospital when Jack goes to visit him and is upset and afraid to see his children because of what they might think of him now with no skin. The chief is about to move to a desk job as the Fire Marshall ( I think) at the headquarters and he offers Jack a job working with him and tells him there's nothing wrong with moving on and that he knows its hard to see friends get hurt or die and maybe he should think about his children.
While Jack is contemplating this, he has to work Christmas and goes to a fire where there is a girl missing from the top floor apartment. He finds the girl and he and Robert Patrick save her and later get Medals of Honor, and he realizes that these types of things he goes through are worth the heartache.
This is when we get up to the point of the fire that he is stuck in at the beginning of the movie. He is still laying there hurt and the Fire Marshall (John Travolta) comes on the scene to take command. Its a huge fire and almost all the units in the city are there.
He radios Jack and tells him that on the other side of the wall he's in is a control room. If he can somehow get in there, the fire fighters can meet him. They are on the other side of the door and are sawing through metal and debris to get to the door that leads to the control room. They finally get through to the door as Jack makes it to the room. When the firefighters open the huge metal door all this fire starts coming out. They close it quickly as Jack stands up inside the room and sees it completely ablaze in fire. He knows now there is no way the firefighters can get to him and that it's far to risky for them to even try. Travolta asks him what he sees and Jack tells him to pull back everyone out of the building. Travolta lets out a sigh of guilt that he cannot do anymore to save his friend. Jack tells him to tell his wife and kids he loves them and will always be with them.
We then see John Travolta and the priest get out of the red car and his wife sees through the window and she knows whats happened.
They next cut to the funeral where John Travolta is talking about the life of Jack and how he saved so many people and he was one of the most courageous firefighters he's ever known and they show all the firefighters walking the street behind his casket.
And lastly the film ends with a montage of firefighters saving peoples lives
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