It’s been 28 years since Backdraft came out. Directed by Ron Howard and starring Kurt Russell and William Baldwin, it featured some of the most beautiful and state of the art practical effects of fire. It was a masterpiece. Backdraft 2 is not that.
So what is the movie? Directed by Gonzalo López-Gallego, most notably of Apollo 18, it is the sequel to the 1991 hit. It follows an investigator with the Chicago F.D., who has to track down an arms dealers who use deadly fires as a distraction. And it’s actually not bad. I enjoyed it, but mostly for the nostalgia. I loved seeing Baldwin reprise his role and see how the death of his brother changed him all those years ago. And the addition of Joe Anderson as Sean McCaffrey was great to see, as I felt the connection between him and his dad, Bull. You could feel that he hadn’t let go of his death and saw every fire as him trying to reconnect.
Donald Sutherland coming back as Ronald Bartel was a surprise, but he was great as always. He didn’t skip a beat playing that character. The character that felt the newest, and sometimes out of place, was Alisha Bailey as Maggie Rening. Maybe that was the way we were supposed to feel though. She was the new character. And everyone else’s chemistry played like they had known each other for years, so it probably worked the way it was supposed to.
Ultimately if you have an hour and a half to kill there are worse ways to do it. I say give it a watch and tell me what you think!