“ONLY THE BRAVE” – 7
In a word: Illuminating. (in more ways than one)
In a nutshell, this is a story, based on true events, about a unit of Arizona fireman and their sacrifices fighting dangerous forest fires.
For certain, I would give this movie an A-plus for educating viewers about all the hazards, training, methods and tools involved in braving the elements within one of the most dangerous challenges there is for public servants, who often give their lives in the process of saving lives. These men are, without question, the epitome of brave dedication, the very definition of “heroes.”
There are a number of worthwhile personal sub-stories built in to the movie, mostly dealing with the private lives of the men, and the struggles of their families and other loved ones. Many moving scene keep the viewer glued to the screen.
The problem for this reviewer was the writing. While it was refreshing to watch a movie that didn’t rely on curse words for effect, nor sex, the dialogue between the men, in some places, seemed amateurish. Having been a part of an emergency responder organization for 30 years, I feel I know the difference between real and contrived talk. Too often, in response to the dialogue, I caught myself rolling eyes to dumb remarks that took away from an otherwise excellent movie.
I may be old an out of touch, but I don’t know why conversations with people we’ve known and worked closely with for years, must end every sentence with “Dude” or “Man.”
The big stars in the picture included Josh Brolin, who played the chief field honcho leading the charge; Jeff Bridges, the old timer upon whom Brolin relies for guidance; and Jennifer Connelly who plays Brolin’s wife. Acting is very good, though not Oscar worthy.
Also, there were elements “conspicuous by their absence.” In this modern era, notable efforts are generally made in employing political correctness and/or “diversity,” a common staple in nearly all movies these days. Among the primary characters, or the secondary actors among firefighters and friends, or extras those playing dancers in the saloons or other background scenes, not one actor was black. That’s probably because the script followed the actual story.
The ending: Very emotional, very true. So, I’ll leave that out of the review for readers to see for themselves.
The film was technically amazing and very informational to the public. I give it a 7 out of 10.