Michael Sauter
May 29, 1998 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Former Raiders defensive end and current Fox sportscaster Long makes a sturdy action figure as skydiving forest firefighter Jesse Graves in Firestorm. There’s even something vaguely Eastwoodian about his minimalist way with dialogue. Yet his first starring vehicle is strictly generic, despite plot overload that combines a complicated prison break with a runaway blaze, and flashy set pieces like the one in which Long rises Rambo-like from a river to hurl an ax — cue the slow-mo! — into a felon’s chest. On the small screen that computer-generated inferno doesn’t seem so overwhelming. On the other hand, it doesn’t seem so overwhelmingly fake. C

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