In Review: Only The Brave 'is a deeply moving tribute to people who put their lives on the line...'

Only the Brave (2017). 12a. 139 mins.

Rating 3/5  - worth watching


Based on the true story of the Granite Mountain team of ‘hot shots’ (teams of specialised fire fighters who deal with forest and bush fires), the film follows the training of Brendan (Miles Teller) who claws his way out of drug addiction by joining the hot shots before they face the mighty Yarnell Hill Fire, Arizona in 2013.
Review, by Jason Day

Only the Brave is a solidly crafted, stirring and traditional (in terms of how the male and female characters are portrayed) disaster movie.

In fact, it's so traditional, that at key moments it is symbolically protectionist.

In this film based on real-life people, places and pyres, the manly male fire fighters who will save the day (led by a gruffly impressive Josh Brolin) are visually distanced from their needy wives and children in isolated locations.

At one point they sit as a group atop a mountain, the camera pulling back to reveal them on an outcrop, the last bastion of 'pure' masculinity. The men are safe (for now) from the modern, feminine world that threatens them.

Perhaps, bored by hyper-masculine camaraderie, caveman cinema such as this that I am, I have read too much into it. But what do you think?

Do we need more strong male characters such as the men in this movie to be optioned by Hollywood for us to pay to see?

Or, in the light of the ongoing Weinstein scandal, do we need to see a few more who can relax among women, without needing to scamper off into the mountains for some primal 'whooping'?

Either way, Only the Brave is still a deeply moving tribute to people who put their lives on the line, often at the behest of their own family's needs.

For more, read the full review:

Cast & credits

Director: Joseph Kosinski. 133 mins. Black Label Media/Di Bonaventura Pictures/Conde Nast Entertainment. (12a).
Producers: Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, Erik Howsam, Trent Luckinbill, Michael Menchel, Dawn Ostroff, Molly Smith, Jeremy Steckler.
Writers: Ken Nolan, Eric Warren Singer.
Camera: Claudio Miranda.
Music: Joseph Trapanese.
Sets: Kevin Kavanaugh.
Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges, Jennifer Connolly, James Badge Dale, Taylor Kitsch, Andie MacDowell, Geoff Stults, Alex Russell, Thad Luckinbill, Ben Hardy