Firestorm (1998) - Rotten Tomatoes


Firestorm (1998)



Critic Consensus: Firestorm failed to ignite ex-pro footballer Howie Long's career...or anything else for that matter.

Firestorm Photos

Movie Info

This Chris Soth screenplay is directed by Dean Semler, the Oscar-winning Dances With Wolves cinematographer who also did cinematography for Waterworld and Last Action Hero. The film's action hero is Howie Long (Broken Arrow), Fox Sports commentator and former NFL star. Wyoming firefighter Jesse Graves (Long) leads a team of smoke-jumpers who parachute into forest fires. Inside a penitentiary, killer Earl Shaye (William Forsythe) devises an escape plan in order to recover a hidden $37 million. He murders a fellow inmate and takes his place in a group of convicts headed out to fight a forest fire. They make an escape, pose as visiting Canadian firefighters, and are ready to look for the loot when retired firefighter Wynt (Scott Glenn) discovers the escape. Shaye's group rescues trapped ornithologist Jennifer (Suzy Amis, Titanic's Lizzy Calvert). Jesse parachutes in, but time is running out, since the original fire and the backfire will soon combine to create a firestorm. Filmed on location in British Columbia with fire-enhancement special effects by Chris Corbould. Not to be confused with Firestorm: 2024 A.D. (1996) or Firestorm: 72 Hours in Oakland (1993). ~ Bhob Stewart, Rovi

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Howie Long
as Jesse Graves
Scott Glenn
as Wynt Perkins
William Forsythe
as Earl Shaye
Suzy Amis
as Jennifer
Ben Ratner
as Wilkins
Chilton Crane
as Tina's Mom
Robyn Driscoll
as Tina's Dad
Gavin Buhr
as Childs
Deryl Hayes
as Sheriff Garrett
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Critic Reviews for Firestorm

All Critics (26) | Top Critics (6)

Hokey smoky. That just about sums up Firestorm, a not-so-towering inferno of action nonsense and overheated mayhem.

January 9, 2018 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
Top Critic

In movies, as in life, you take your warmth where you can find it, but this particular wienie roast is bound to leave you cold.

April 12, 2002 | Rating: 1/4

...boasts an old-fashioned sensibility that benefits from several surprisingly thrilling set pieces...

October 16, 2008 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

No one should mistake Firestorm for a "quality" motion picture. It's not, and it wasn't designed to be.

January 27, 2005 | Rating: C-

It is just a run-of-the-mill action movie.

January 1, 2001 | Rating: C | Full Review…

The action movie for which the term 'by the numbers' might have been coined.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Firestorm

So ex-NFL player Howie Long got his big action man break in the Travolta thriller 'Broken Arrow' in 1996, this inevitably lead to his own specially made silly action vehicle. Although there are a few well known faces here simply to bolster the acting skills on show, its basically the Howie Long show yet he shows off no muscles throughout. So four years ago the main villain stole four million Dollars and hid it deep within the forest. He now decides to break out of jail with some colleges during a big forest fire which one of his compadres on the outside started. Naturally a female is taken hostage and its up to the lone 'smokejumper' to save the day with his mighty axe. The term 'smokejumper' is actually what they call these guys that are trained to jump from helicopters into fires to save people, its not me being sarcastic. But this is what's so funny about this film, right from the get go we are shown the banal camaraderie and makeup of the small team. These smokejumpers led by Long are your typical team of Hollywood characters, the attractive female, the mouthy young male, the wiser vet and Long who is the big butch guy. Only thing missing is the token black guy. Luckily we don't have to put up with this A-Team type cliched machoism as the action centres on Long surviving in the wilderness against the bad guys. The bad guys are easily the more interesting bunch with William Forsythe as their homicidal leader. Gotta give credit to Forsythe as he always makes such a riveting nasty villain, his fierce chubby looks are just perfect the way he snarls and grimaces when he gets mad, and in this he just about kills anyone. Check the early performance for Barry Pepper as one of the bad guys. The whole idea for this film is so thin really, its just an everyday action movie but its set within a huge forest fire. It just comes across as trying to make another field of US rescue workers out to be cool equipment wearing top guns. Of course Long uses all his trained boyscout methods to beat the bad guys whilst curiously never actually getting into any good fights, well not many. I was gonna compare this to 'Backdraft' but its not really like that, that had some sense about it whilst this is complete violent nonsense. Despite that there are numerous visual moments which look pretty similar and its worth noting that Scott Glenn plays almost the same type of role in this as he does in 'Backdraft'. The whole thing is predictable as hell and can't even come up with any decent visuals to help you along. Long is a weak leading man even though he has the look of one and things that happen along the way just raise questions, but its hardly a thinker, just dumb.

Phil Hubbs
Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

Something went badly wrong here. What was supposed to be a so-so action flick starring someone who plays baseball (or something), turned out to be a well-directed, smartly written and nicely paced action flick. They even made the effort to write in a decent villain. Somewhere between Con Air and Backdraft - and definitely worth a watch.

Marcus Woolcott
Marcus Woolcott

Super Reviewer


II am not much of a TV Movie or a Howie Long fan. Reason I watched this Movie was because Suzy Ames was in it and I am trying to watch all her movies, though Titanic will be torture to sit through (Chick Flick). This movie is about Fire jumpers on the west coast jumping and fighting forest fires. When movie started I figured it was going to be a boring and it was, but as the movie continued it become more exciting and enjoyable. I venture to say that this is the best of Howie Long. The maker of this movie and captured one's attention was William Forsythe the bad guy, and very bad guy at that as he eliminated his friends one by one. The movie itself is about a crew of fire jumpers coming across escaped con's and all are trapped in a forest fire. Suzy Amis plays a good part and adds some to the movie. Not bad for a TV Movie, but only 3 1/2 stars

Bruce Bruce
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

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