Title – Only the Brave (2017)
Director – Joseph Kosinski (Tron: Legacy)
Cast – Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Taylor Kitsch, Jeff Bridges, Jennifer Connelly, James Badge Dale, Andie MacDowell
Plot – The true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots firefighting crew, who risked their lives to battle some of America’s fiercest wildfires.
“There are two things that can make a man move. Fear and greed”
Review by Eddie on 07/03/2018
For a director whose debut was the visually fabulous Tron: Legacy and whose follow-up was the equally visually oriented Tom Cruise sci-fi Oblivion, Only the Brave is a surprising and effective change of pace for filmmaker Joseph Kosinski, who shows a side of himself we’d not yet seen and in doing so has crafted one of last year’s most assured and polished true-life drama’s.
Telling the true story of American firefighters the Granite Mountain Hotshots and their ordeals they faced to become certified frontline warriors and their dealings battling some of America’s hottest and deadliest fires, Brave is an effective and engaging cinematic firefighting experience that’s arguably the greatest film yet made about the serviceman (sorry Backdraft).
While visually as proficient as we’d expect from Kosinski, Brave shines most in its humanity and character portrayal’s that combine to create one of 2017’s most grounded and charismatic ensembles.
Lead by Josh Brolin in the best turn his had in year’s as fiercely determined leader Eric Marsh and backed up by refreshingly on point performances from young stars Miles Teller and Taylor Kitsch, Brave spends a solid amount of its runtime establishing the comraderie and relationships of this unit and while there are ample scenes involving the Granite Mountain crew in the heat of battle, Brave balances the small-scale with the grand-scale to great effect making our emotional connection to this story really kick-off.
As the film draws on and the relationships between these group of friends/colleagues and their relationships with their spouses grows, Brave builds towards an emotionally charged and highly effective finale that makes the most of Kosinski’s groundwork as well as giving its cast a chance to shine with supporting turns from Jennifer Connelly and Jeff Bridges becoming great supporting anchors for the film when the focus shifts away from the Granite Mountain crew.
Final Say –
Unfortunately overlooked by many last year, Kosinski’s well-filmed and often powerful true-life drama is an engaging experience from start to finish and with a collection of noteworthy acting turns, Only the Brave becomes the quintessential feature film based around firefighting and a lovingly crafted tribute to a very special group of men.
4 fire bears out of 5