I… wha-Um… Why is this a good movie? No, really, this is a good movie. No, Not great – good. But wha-? Huh!?
Okay let me back up a bit. I went in half expecting a cheap knock-off of The Towering Inferno but, came out thoroughly entertained! It’s a competently made action film about a subject that’s rarely, if ever, handled in our films.
A traffic collision in a busy city centre causes a large LPG container to come undone and roll off. By the time it comes to a halt it’s hurt at least 5 people and damaged as many vehicles. But that’s the least of anyone’s worries. It soon becomes clear that the container is leaking and the gas is spreading, not helped by the fact that the wind is picking up.
The fire-force is quick to arrive. They get the situation almost under control when the gas catches fire due to an unfortunate oversight. While they suffer heavy casualties, the damage is minimal. But, they’re not out of danger yet. The gas not only continues to leak but, it spreads to a much larger area than anticipated. Now, the fire-force has to convince the authorities to evacuate what amounts to the population of a small city.
Oh, and this includes a prison.
What caught me off guard is that the film, at least for the first two thirds of its length shows real restraint and intelligence. The screenplay is its strength. This is where films like Haram, and Aadu fail. They are, in my opinion, better directed films. Their screenplay let them down. There’s only so much a good director can do. But I digress.
It has its problems, for sure. Towards the end it starts to fall into Superstar worship, which does not mix well with the story they’re trying to tell. The film is about the teamwork between the firemen; about how they work together to do the impossible; go where others fear to go. To then elevate one of them as some special kind of hero does not work.
I’m not going to spoil the twist ending, but the fact that a film about firemen saving a town has a twist at all is a little weird. Yeah the story gets a slightly convoluted towards the end. To be fair though, it’s all nicely wrapped up.
Sure, it’s cliched. We know that when a character talks about their retirement or shows family pictures in a film like this, he or she is not going to survive the movie. This film neatly checks all the check boxes. It’s interesting that the film’s problems are mostly in those areas where it tries to be original. It’s a perfect example of why tropes are not bad. it works when it’s just about the firemen and their fight against the – well- fire.
All in all it was fun. I love this feeling when you go in expecting the movie to suck but then, with each scene it sort of wins you over. This film is sincere, if nothing else. It’s a WYSIWYG kind of film.