A straightforward ode to firefighters and the American way of life. When it comes to the characters' habits, aspirations, interpretation of duty to oneself and one's profession and especially your pals (playing pranks is a very important part of male bonding) the film is a sheer tour de force of American clichees and I felt like being constantly beaten over the head with shiny high school yearbooks celebrating the glorious unity of 'the lads'. All in all, I still enjoyed the film, because - after all - it is a positive message, albeit as far removed from reality as could possibly be and while I would not entertain the notion of venturing that far into a negative interpretation of the film, some might even call it a bit too much white suburban propagandha, but then again, aren't most US-American mainstream movies ? What saved the day were the strong lead performances by Phoenix and Travolta, the later being especially believable and oozing with jolly neighbour charisma. Phoenix is as brooding as ever, and while he might not be the most flexible of actors, he retains his strong screen presence. Dont worry if you miss this one, it is something to watch while flipping through a magazine or having your afternoon tea on a rainy sunday, but unless you are a Phoenix, Travolta or firefighter fanboy, this won't hit the tune for you.