I always dress for the occasional action movie...
Andrew McCaffrey | Satellite of Love, Maryland | 01/31/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If Dave Matthews tried to teach us that the afterlife is a nice house with central heating, then HEAVEN'S FIRE would have us believe that heaven is a large Federal building in Seattle, Washington.
The plot of HEAVEN'S FIRE is slight, even for an action movie. A gang of nasty scallywags have decided to hijack a helicopter, land on the roof of a United States Treasury building and steal a set of metal plates used for printing money. They didn't count on two things. The first thing they didn't anticipate was their helicopter crashing and setting the building on fire. The also didn't count on Eric Roberts who happens to be present during the heist and who also happens to be a former Federal agent.
The band of outlaws is led by Jürgen "Waiter, I'd like my proch now" Prochnow. He's German, which means that his accent sounds really cool when delivering his bad-guy action movie catch phrases, but is almost indecipherable when attempting actual exposition. This isn't much of a problem though, as one should be able to follow the story even with the sound turned down to zero.
Of course, every story of good vs. evil needs its group of utterly helpless innocent bystanders. In this case, it's a tour group that was visiting the Treasury when the armed robbery began. Once the helicopter crashes into the side of the building, the easily panicked, multi-ethnic group morphs into the cast of THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE who must be led floor-by-floor away from the various dangers.
Rounding out the cast is Eric Roberts' girlfriend who is the leader of the tour group. She has a daughter from a previous marriage, and Eric Roberts has a son. He's a moody, introspective loner. She's an all-American Valley girl. Can these two people share an action movie without driving each other crazy?
Maintaining the connection to the outside world is the standard action movie Useless Authority Figure. In this case, it's someone very high up in the Treasure Department who bullies his way into being in charge of disaster recovery (you can make your own FEMA jokes here). In my mind, I deleted this actor and replaced him with Alan Greenspan. To demonstrate his stupidity, his first scene features his asking if the two fires burning independently in different parts of the skyscraper will cancel out each other.
So there you have it. Burning building. Good guy. Bad guys. Cannon fodder.
This is all standard stuff for a cheesy action movie. But this actually is a good cheesy action movie. It's entertaining. It's fun. It's good harmless escapism. It's exciting when it needs to be. The dialog is just goofy and silly enough to be enjoyable.
It must be said that the film is extremely predictable (apart from one genuinely good twist near the end), but this is where the film's short running time (80 minutes) comes to its rescue. The pacing is pretty good. No scene outlasts its welcome and the action keeps going to prevent the story from becoming stagnant.
Of course, the film can't escape the fact that it's a relatively low budget affair. Take, for example, the scene where the civilians are trapped in a stairwell which is slowly collapsing. Eric Roberts' son has an entire flight of concrete stairs fall on his head. This results in a small cut on his forehead and minor bleeding. I laughed. And I give the film credit for this, because at the end of the day, I don't care if I'm laughing with or at a movie. If I'm entertained, I'm happy."
olga gerwing | lubbock texas | 04/26/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"heavens fire is one of eric roberts best movies
i love it when he plays a good guy.he is a great actor and very handsome one at thatthis is a most see movie for all erics roberts fans
i definely recommand this isone to any one"
Serious Contender "Worse film of all times"
Jesus from Colorado | UK | 01/30/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Forget about Battlefield Earth
This is the real mccoy. It is so bad that hurts.
I think that all involved should be arrested and made to watch it again and again"
1999 TV Action!
Gandalf | U.S.A | 06/08/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Not surprisingly the bad guy (Prochnow) outshines the good guy (Roberts) in this average action-flick. The stunts and computer effects are not half bad, and a nice tongue-in-cheek attitude and good production value make up for most lulls in the plot. At times the actors actually seem to be enjoying themselves, and that's more than one should expect from this DIE HARD-clone (the hero is even named McConnell... hello? McClane!). Eric Roberts and Jürgen Prochnow in "The Towering Inferno" meets "Die Hard" on a TV-budget. How can you go wrong?"