The film begins with a group of skilled and professional firefighters attempting to put out a large blaze. The blaze results in the death of one of their fellow team members, leaving the team’s leader, Andrey (Konstantin Khabenskiy), exhausted. After Andrey and his crew return to base, they are quickly called back into the field again as many fires continue to burn and many people need rescuing.
But before Andrey and his team can go back out to fight the fire, Andrey is forced to get a replacement member to join his team. At first, he is not interested in an additional member, claiming a team of five is good enough, and the recruits around the base are childish and not capable for the danger. But soon, Andrey learns that one of the recruits has been secretly seeing his daughter, and it becomes an easy decision as to which rookie should join his team. Now Andrey will push a young man to take on a real fire and put all his training into play. The question is, can this newly updated team survive their biggest threat yet and save those who are in desperate need of help?
Fire is an action and drama film that shows firefighters’ heroic daily lives. Andrey’s team members are all different from one another, with unique personalities, skills, and backgrounds, giving the audience a valid reason to cheer them on throughout the film.
The pacing of this film is great, and my investment in the story was solid. Granted, I was a little concerned at the start of the film, thinking this could be a complete copy of similar movies, but thankfully once the first act passes and the plot is outlined, there’s a bigger story at play here. At multiple times, this movie surprised me, especially when it related to Andrey’s team members. I generally wondered and questioned if they would be successful and each character would survive the large threat they are facing.
For those who are not aware, this was originally filmed in Russian. The Australian DVD release has been dubbed into English with no options to hear the original Russian language or instead use subtitles. While not impacting the plot, this was a disappointing element to see. One character particularly has a dubbed voice-over that seemed not only unfitting but also highly distracting and off-putting. Other than the dubbing, the audio track and even its visuals are quite pleasing.
Overall, this is a solid survival film that felt very 90s and honourable to firefighters worldwide. The plot feels familiar at first but soon changes dramatically with its story and even introduces unpredictable moments relating to the danger and risks faced by our leads. Fire is filled with action and carries intense moments of drama and suspense. The film successfully entertained and gripped me; unfortunately, the Australian DVD release has dubbed voice-overs in English instead of in Russian, which I feel affects the film and some key characters more than I preferred.