Unique scripts are hard to come by. This is one of those unknown movies, but it has good things.
Smoke Jumper (2008) Film Review
Following in her father’s footsteps, Kristin Scott (Brooke Burns), she’s a source of pride to him. They share a bond that her mother and sister never understand. She’s also the only female on her firefighting team, and her father’s one weakness. Bitter rivals come to a head when her sister (Erin Karpluk) blames Kristin for the death of their father in the aftermath of a house fire. Put on administrative leave, Kristin must prove her mettle all over again. This leads her to an elite, all-male team of smoke jumpers.
Rigorous training and snide comments gives Kristin all the more determination to succeed. All to prove that she isn’t the failure her family and former co-workers think.‘SMOKE JUMPER’ (2008) #FWarchives Click To Tweet
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One of the films that get the Dove “family approved” seal, Smoke Jumper (also known as Trial by Fire) is an impressive story. It takes realistic facts (out of the four-hundred smoke jumper’s only 27 of them are women) and turns it into a clever, pulse-pounding piece of adrenaline. Amidst the claims that Kristin is given a break, as a way to create conflict, I suspect that some of the movie is over dramatized. With that out of the way, things start off with a natural disaster, immediately catching viewers up in the plight of the firemen as they attempt to battle back against a forest fire. From there, everything seems to continue on without lagging. It’s part character piece and part suspense – one that is appropriate for younger viewers.
Brooke Burns is actually a good actress who pulls off this leading character. She’s a tough as nails adrenaline junkie. It’s her family conflicts that she cannot deal with. The dynamics there play out realistically. Then as supporting characters there is Kristin’s brother-in-law whose relationship with her is quite fun; supportive when no one else offers encouragement. Also in the mix are the flirtations between a smoke jumper, Ray, and Kristin whom she proves wrong. These scenes are really nice; they are a kind of “fill in” and act as a break from the tension.
Considering the exciting climax and continual pacing of “action” throughout, the ending is lackluster. It forgets to inform on the injuries of some team members, and doesn’t tie everything up. Regardless, what it does leave open for interpretation isn’t where the story center is so it’s easily forgiven. The production is impressive including the fires; the climax backdrop in the finale ten minutes does look “put on,” or fake if you will but the integrity of the movie is good. It honors family and upholds courage – even with a character that is something of a feminist. Keeping up some good pacing, a seasoned, talented cast brings everything together to formulate an interesting film that is worth looking into. And most of all, it opens a new awareness of the courage and appreciation we should hold for these elite firemen.
Content: There are one or two minor uses of profanity. Some tense moments involve fires and dangerous situations; a car nearly goes over the edge of a cliff and flames engulf a man. Aside from some flirting, there is nothing sexual. The film is PG.