Backdraft 2

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Backdraft 2
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And you thought Ablaze was awful? Think again! This is even worse.
Genre: Drama
Thriller
Directed By: Gonzalo López-Gallego
Produced By: Raffaella De Laurentiis
Written By: Gregory Widen
Starring: Joe Anderson
William Baldwin
Donald Sutherland
Photography: Color
Cinematography: José David Montero
Distributed By: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date: May 14, 2019
Runtime: 101 minutes
Country: United States
Prequel: Backdraft


Backdraft 2 (or Backdraft II) is a 2019 direct-to-DVD sequel to the 1991 film of the same name directed by Gonzalo López-Gallego (who directed the 2011 found footage film Apollo 18), The film stars William Baldwin reprising his role as Brian McCaffrey, Joe Anderson as Sean McCaffrey and Donald Sutherland reprising his role as imprisoned arsonist Ronald Bartel. It was released exclusively on DVD and Blu-Ray on May 14, 2019. The film was written by Gregory Widen, who also wrote the script for the original.

Plot

Many years after Brian McCaffrey lost his older brother Lieutenant Stephen McCaffrey, Sean McCaffrey places the blame of Stephen's death on Brian. Meanwhile, a group of nuclear arms dealers set fires as distractions to steal missiles out of the country.

Why It Sucks

  1. This sequel is extremely unnecessary due to the fact that the first film ended on a high note with Brian McCaffrey moving on with his career in the fire service despite the loss of his brother, Stephen and his father, Dennis. Yet, the sequel ignores the ending of the original film with no purpose whatsoever. In addition, releasing the sequel to the first film just twenty-eight years after the original was stale beyond recognition.
  2. Even though Gregory Widen (who wrote the script for the first film) came back to write the script for this film, the script for this film is tiresome and confusing.
  3. The film can't decide if it's a firefighting story or a political thriller with nuclear arms and missiles. Also, the idea involving nuclear weapons is completely ridiculous and nonsensical making the film even more pointless. This film idea could also be more sensible if it wasn't called Backdraft 2 and have it be set in the '80s during the Cold War and not in the present-day world. This is almost similar to the case with the setting in 2013's A Good Day to Die Hard.
  4. The early scenes are lame (eg. where a backdraft kills five kids that are going out trick or treating for Halloween.)
  5. It missed the spirit of the first film for many reasons:
    • Sean, the son of Stephen McCaffrey and nephew of Brian McCaffrey is now completely out of character in this film. Instead of being thoughtful and kind like he was in the first film, he is rather rude to people and is antisocial,
      • On top of that, he was a minor supporting character in the original.
    • Ronald Bartel (Donald Sutherland's character) not only suffers from pyromania, but he also suffers from diabetes while Sean and Maggie are interrogating him in the hospital scene.
    • The film has little-to-no firefighting sequences while the original film had tons of exciting firefighting sequences that were iconic and memorable.
    • Pointless mentioning of the "career dissipation light" comment from the first film.
    • There are so many new characters that aren't memorable and or likable (even the new firefighters are not that memorable).
      • Speaking of which, most of the actors who play the new firefighters in this film look like they are exhausted and look like they didn't even want to be in the film.
  6. Abysmal acting, especially for the newer cast members (save for William Baldwin and Donald Sutherland).
  7. The whole film feels more like an episode of Chicago Fire (which is also distributed by Universal Studios) than a follow-up to Backdraft. It also looks and feels more like a sequel to the direct-to-DVD film Ablaze with Michael Dudikoff. It also feels more like a police drama than a firefighter film.
  8. There are numbers of plot-holes in the entire film.
  9. A majority of events from the first film are almost completely ignored (eg. when Brian and Stephen lost their dad, Dennis in a firefighting accident in the opening scene which was one of the many major highlights from the original). The only major event from the original film that's even mentioned is when Stephen died near the end of the first film while risking his life to save John Adcox, a firefighter who was also an arsonist.
  10. Hans Zimmer did not return to compose the score for the film. Randy Edelman (a generally talented composer) did the score instead and while his soundtrack is well done, the score isn't as epic or exciting as the music was in the first film. Also, the music used in the film is overly melancholy and does not fit for a Backdraft sequel even though the first film had sad scenes for good reasons. Most of the scenes with the music are just boring.
  11. The film looks more like it was filmed by an amateur director than a professional director. Ron Howard did a better job with the original film while Gonzalo López-Gallego's filming for this was poor.
  12. Certain supporting characters from the original aren't mentioned (eg. Alderman Martin Swayzak (J.T. Walsh's character), Jennifer Vatikus (Brian's love interest played by Jennifer Jason Leigh) or Tim Krizminski (Jason Gedrick's character) as if they didn't exist at all. Dennis McCaffrey (the father of Stephen and Brian) is not even mentioned either making this film even more pointless.
  13. Although Sean wears Stephen's coat to honor him, the coat he wears isn't approved in today's NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) standards.
  14. The film has extremely nonsensical quotes and dialogue (eg. when Ronald says "Moo!" after Sean says to Maggie that Ronald is "the deadliest arsonist since Mrs. O'Leary's cow." or when Brian says to Sean in the restaurant "Doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to find you." or when Sean arrests an arsonist, he asks Sean, "What are you? A cop?" and Sean replies with "No, I'm a fireman.")
  15. There's also a lame revelation where an arsonist that Sean arrested turned down a fee to set the house fire on Halloween that killed the kids who were out trick or treating in the opening scene.
  16. The villains are weak and their ways and motivations of setting the fires are nonsensical. Even the comeuppance of the new villains doesn't make any sense (see in later WIS reasons below).
  17. False advertising: in the trailer and on the DVD cover, a text reads "From the filmmakers of Backdraft." However, only three filmmakers who worked on the original film were involved in the making of this film: Ron Howard, Raffaella De Laurentiis and Brian Grazer. It is also misleading is because both William Baldwin and Donald Sutherland were the only returning cast members from the original film. The title is also misleading, because there are about two backdrafts while the original film had tons of backdrafts.
  18. The fights between Sean and Brian are almost similar to the verbal arguments Stephen and Brian had making it a partial rip-off and a rehash of the original film.
  19. Donald Sutherland looks almost entirely depressed while reprising his role of Ronald Bartel, despite being a creepy and intimidating character. In the majority of the film, he just looks like he wanted the filming to wrap up fast while the film was in production.
  20. The final act is just abysmal, for two reasons:
    • Brian dies pathetically near the end in an explosion while trying to save Sean from a ridiculous explosive trap set up by the terrorists (thankfully we don't see him die), which left no impact whilst Stephen's death left an impact in the original film.
    • The defeat of the terrorists was pointless (eg. when one of the thieves steps out of their truck, he opens up the back of their truck that's carrying the stolen missile causing it to fly out and kill him on impact. Afterwards, their truck that is carrying the missiles explodes for no explained reason.)
  21. For some odd reason, Ronald expresses sympathy for Sean after Brian died. How can an arsonist that had zero remorse in the original film somehow express sympathy for a stranger he is familiar with?!
  22. Overall, the film is just nothing special.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. William Baldwin gives a decent performance as Brian McCaffrey and it was nice to see him return.
  2. Joe Anderson was decent as Sean, despite being antisocial and rude.
  3. Despite most of the new characters being mostly forgettable, the most likable one is Maggie, the female arson investigator.
  4. Some of the action scenes are decent, but not as good as the ones in the original.
  5. Brian McCaffrey is now a fully experienced firefighter.
  6. Three characters from the original film are mentioned: Donald Rimgale (Robert De Niro's character), Stephen McCaffrey (Kurt Russell's character) and John Adcox (Scott Glenn's character). We even see pictures of Kurt Russell's character and Scott Glenn's character. Sean and Brian even talk about the times when Stephen was alive.
  7. Brian explains the truth to Sean why Stephen died and what he was doing before his death.
  8. It was also interesting to see an older Ronald Bartel and Donald Sutherland's performance was semi-decent, despite looking sad.
  9. Ron Howard (the director of the first film), Raffaella De Laurentiis (who helped produce the first film) and Brian Grazer (the main producer of the first film) serve as executive producers.
  10. Real fire was used just like in the first film.
  11. Ron Howard was smart enough to refuse to direct the film, though the film would have been different if he directed the film just like the first one.
  12. The firehouse from the first film is seen in the film, except it was a replica since this film is low budget.
  13. Thankfully, this is a short film as opposed to most unnecessary sequels made by big-name studios that are two hours long or less.
  14. Like when Stephen McCaffrey died at the end of the original film, Sean bids a meaningful farewell to Brian after he died.

Reception

Backdraft 2 holds a critic score of 40% with an average of 2/10 on Rotten Tomatoes and has received mixed-to-negative reviews from critics and audiences alike. On the fan's side, it was heavily panned by the fans of the first film criticizing the story, poor characters, acting and deemed it as more of a political thriller than a firefighting film and felt nothing like the first film of the stand-alone series. It also holds a 16% audience score on the same site. However, most fans praised the performances of both William Baldwin and Donald Sutherland. Jason Rugaard of Movie Mavericks awarded the film two stars and stated in his review of the film "Based on its on-screen merits it's a passable experience, but there isn't really anything to distinguish Backdraft 2 from an episode of Chicago Fire or 911." Barbara Shulgasser of Common Sense Media awarded the film a one star and described the film as an "Unnecessary, nonsensical sequel" and Martin Liebman of Blu-ray.com awarded the film a 2.5 out of 5 and described the film as "one of the most inconsequential films around" and film critic Rob Hunter of Slashfilm said in his review "Ultimately, the film fails in the two big areas where the original succeeded – the emotion and the awe. Anderson’s performance helps somewhat in getting viewers to care..." David Duprey of ThatMomentIn described the film as "a messy, by-the-numbers action flick with let's just say it-no spark."[1] Daniel Barnes of Dare Daniel stated, "Unfortunately, there is no reason to care about anyone onscreen other than nostalgia for a 30-year-old movie that no one likes or remembers." [2] However, the film received some positive reviews including one from Alex McLevy of AV Club gave the film a favorable review and stated in his review of the film "This is the kind of brainless but trashily enjoyable film that would suit the bill when you're looking for something to watch hangover on a lazy Sunday afternoon." Fred Topel of We Live Entertainment also gave the film a positive review and described it as "a worthwhile continuation of the McCaffrey family." The film also has a rating of 4.9 out of 10 on IMDb.

Videos

Trivia

  • This film was shot in Romania, Toronto and there were several scenes shot in Chicago (where the original film was shot).
  • William Baldwin and Donald Sutherland are the only original cast members who reprise their roles from the first film.
  • On the wall of fallen firefighters, we see a picture of retired firefighter Steve "Chik" Chikerotis as fallen firefighter William Lucas (a character who didn't appear in the original, nor was he mentioned). Steve served as the technical advisor on the original film, this film and he currently serves as the technical advisor on Chicago Fire and has made appearances on Chicago Fire.
  • The reason Donald Rimgale (Robert De Niro's character) is not in this film is due to the death of the real-life former arson investigator Donald Rimgale, who helped get him prepared for his role in the original film.

References

External links

Comments


avatar

Stephenfisher2001

16 months ago
Score 2

Backdraft 2? But with nuclear arms, need a sequel?

Two words, No, WAY. Why?

1. The first film has no sequel baiting at all, so we don't need it.

2. The film can't decide that if it's going to be a fire fighting film, with NUKES! That's a very bad concept idea.

3. In fact, the second film needs to be obscure for good, and never exist.
avatar

Spongebuff1991

16 months ago
Score 0
Did you see it or did you avoid it?
avatar

Stephenfisher2001

16 months ago
Score 2
I avoid it, because I look at the plot on this page. IDK If I'm going to see this or not.
avatar

Spongebuff1991

14 months ago
Score 2
That's sensible to just say no.
avatar

Declan Kearns

9 months ago
Score 1
Seriously, how did we go from Ron Howard (who gave us Apollo 13, Cocoon, A Beautiful and the original Backdraft) to the untalented hack who gave us Apollo 18.
avatar

Spongebuff1991

16 months ago
Score 2
You are better off avoiding it!
avatar

ItMeansNothing

15 months ago
Score 2

"Complete unnecessary"

Most sequels nowadays are pretty unneeded.
avatar

Spongebuff1991

15 months ago
Score 2
I know sequels are for the most part unneeded, especially this one. If you haven't seen this. Please, don't! Just watch the first Backdraft!
avatar

Stephenfisher2001

15 months ago
Score 2
I watched the first one, and I loved it, and I didn't see the second one.
avatar

Spongebuff1991

15 months ago
Score 2
Also, when I watch the original. The second film doesn't enter into my mind.
avatar

Stephenfisher2001

14 months ago
Score 2
Looks like the fans hated the sequel even more with a 15% audience score, it's getting better that the fans really hated this sequel, a lot.
avatar

Stephenfisher2001

14 months ago
Score 2
It's because nobody knew the film, and when they have seen it, they reacted negatively.
avatar

Spongebuff1991

13 months ago
Score 0
Not just fans, general filmbuffs hate it too!
avatar

Spongebuff1991

11 months ago
Score 0
I looked at the one star ratings on IMDb and there are 18 one star reviews.
avatar

Spongebuff1991

14 months ago
Score 2
Yes, and I'm sure that it sold poorly and DVD and Blu-ray. I'm also sure most people saw it on Netflix or on 123movies or some similar site where you can see films online for free.
avatar

Stephenfisher2001

14 months ago
Score 2
And I'll find another great firefighting movie, since Ladder 49, as long people loved and the critics loved it to. :)
avatar

Spongebuff1991

14 months ago
Score 0
Good luck with that!
avatar

Stephenfisher2001

14 months ago
Score 2

Just like Hellboy (2019), The sequel wasn't even supposed to exist in the first place, either.

Still, I still didn't watch the second, one, and I still didn't touch the second one and say no to Backdraft 2.
avatar

Spongebuff1991

14 months ago
Score 2
You made the right choice!
avatar

Stephenfisher2001

11 months ago
Score 0

Let me guess, Sean McCaffrey blames Brian for killing Stephen?

How?
avatar

Spongebuff1991

11 months ago
Score 0
Well, he didn't realize that Stephen died while risking his life to save John Adcox until Brian told him. That's why.
avatar

Stephenfisher2001

11 months ago
Score 0
Well then, guess what? Sean is an Idiot.
avatar

Spongebuff1991

11 months ago
Score 0
He isn't, but he acts like one. In this film, he has a misunderstanding as to why Stephen died until Brian explains the full story.
avatar

Stephenfisher2001

11 months ago
Score 0
Oh.
avatar

Spongebuff1991

11 months ago
Score 0
since you were smart to avoid it, I will be more than eager to answer any questions you have about it even though I hate this film. Ablaze was a better bad firefighter film. That I can have fun with since it is unintentionally funny and it was more exciting.
avatar

Spongebuff1991

11 months ago
Score 0
Ablaze was more entertaining this pile of smoldering drek.
avatar

Spongebuff1991

11 months ago
Score 2
To other folks out there who haven't seen it (which I sadly did see it), please don't watch the second film! It was confusing, hard to follow and a huge insult to my favorite R-rated film of 1991.
avatar

Stephenfisher2001

10 months ago
Score 2
I agree.
avatar

Stephenfisher2001

10 months ago
Score 2
And By the way, I might call Backdraft 2, Ablaze 2, right?
avatar

Spongebuff1991

10 months ago
Score 0
Yes. This is miles worse than Ablaze.
avatar

Stephenfisher2001

10 months ago
Score 2
I might likely to see Ablaze, but... I don't know. :(
avatar

Spongebuff1991

10 months ago
Score 2
As awful as Ablaze is, it is better than this travesty. Just watch Ablaze and not this one!
avatar

Spongebuff1991

10 months ago
Score 2
Ablaze was actually entertaining to me.
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HellLord

10 months ago
Score 0
My fire’s not working for the night due to this film
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Spongebuff1991

10 months ago
Score 0
I don't blame you!
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HellLord

9 months ago
Score 0
(It was a joke as you can see)
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Spongebuff1991

9 months ago
Score 0
I didn’t quite get the joke.
avatar

Stephenfisher2001

10 months ago
Score 0

Why did this get to 17%? :(

This still won't make this movie look great! :(
avatar

Spongebuff1991

10 months ago
Score 0
I dunno why it went up. However, the majority of reviews are still negative. There are very few positive audience reviews on IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes and elsewhere. Sometimes, the audience score increases and decreases from time to time. It is puzzling why the audience score has gone up. However, I was just checking to see if the score changed or not. If it does I change it to the current score. Hopefully, it will go down to a single digit despite the popularity of the original 1991 film. This film will be popular in the category of awful films. I will admit it is not one of the worst sequels I have seen. The main awful films I have seen are stand-alone ones.
avatar

Stephenfisher2001

10 months ago
Score 4
Backdraft 2 now got a 40% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes. This is not a drill.
avatar

Spongebuff1991

10 months ago
Score 0
I just saw that and to me that score is too high for me.
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Declan Kearns

9 months ago
Score 2
The corruption of modern film critics.
avatar

Stephenfisher2001

9 months ago
Score 4
We can agree that Backdraft 2 is widely considered to be one of the worst firefighter films of all time, behind Ablaze.
avatar

Spongebuff1991

9 months ago
Score 0
Yes. I watched Ablaze more. That I can have fun with and there are unintentionally amusing moments (primarily when the fire trucks magically change from ones that were made by defunct brands to ones made by present day brands). Ladder 49 is to me (and I am sure to a lot of other people) probably the best post-Backdraft film made. It is also one of my favorite films I saw when I was in my teens. I even saw Ladder 49 in the theater, which makes it even more special.
avatar

Spongebuff1991

9 months ago
Score 2
To add to that, Ladder 49 is the proper post Backdraft firefighter film.

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