I am sure there are many who remember the 2nd August 1985 especially those who lived in Dallas as that was the date when Delta Airlines Flight 191 crashed near the airfield after encountering a storm which created a "wind shear". But I am not one of them and it was only a combination of a general interest in airplane based disaster movies and the surprising cast which drew me to watch "Fire and Rain" a made for TV movie which dramatizes the events where over 100 people died. As such my opinion will differ to those who remember that day and feel some connection to the story and is why I only found "Fire and Rain" a typical made for TV movie disaster movie with a surprisingly decent cast rather than anything more.
Now I hate to say this because it seems like I might be making light of the actual disaster but "Fire and Rain" has the style of a typical disaster movie. The opening introduces us to many of the pivotal characters, the businessman who finds himself in the smoking section, the woman who is scared of flying as well as the mechanic who was driving home and ended up involved. But it doesn't do a great job of establishing these characters in enough depth to lets us care for them beyond the recognizability and likeability of the actors which is the case of Patti LaBelle as the woman scared of flying Lucille.
When "Fire and Rain" really kicks into gear is when the disaster strikes and Flight 191 experiences the "Wind Shear" which slams it down. But at the same time it becomes a case of one drama after another with not a strong way of linking all these dramas into one narrative due to the lack of character depth. It makes it slightly weak yet because the whole time you know that this was based on fact also keeps it interesting.
As for the acting well it is a case that the recognizable cast certainly helps the movie but each of the actors be it David Hasselhoff or Tom Bosley are not gifted with strongly written characters. It is the movies major weakness as it keeps us at a distance from the personal dramas unfolding.
What this all boils down to is that "Fire and Rain" probably works best for those who remember the events of the 2nd August 1985 as for everyone else it is just a routine made for TV disaster movie which suffers from a lack of character depth.