Only the Brave: Film Review

Damn, I was not emotionally prepared for Only the Brave. I honestly didn’t know what it was about and I’m glad I went in without that knowledge because it made it far more shocking and moving.

The story follows the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a team of wildfire firefighters in Arizona, as they strive to get certified status, take on new recruits, such as former burnout Brendan (Miles Teller), and take on various fires, including the 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire.

The cast is excellent, with Eric Marsh (Josh Brolin) heading up the team, followed by his second Jesse (James Badge Dale) and Chris MacKenzie (Taylor Kitsch). Marsh is married to Amanda (Jennifer Connelly) and great friends with fire department head Duane (Jeff Bridges) and his wife Marvel (Andie MacDowell).

The film tells a really powerful, poignant story but it doesn’t manage to ramp up the emotion as much as it could have done. If you know how it ends, it probably won’t make you weep, but it was totally unexpected to me, so that helped. I can cry easily at films and this should have had me bawling, but it didn’t. It was just way too long and I was so ready for the end long before it came so it doesn’t quite pack the punch. It also didn’t help that Connelly really had an awful cry moment that was so OTT that I started laughing instead of crying.

There are a lot of good things about Only the Brave though – there are plenty of fun moments, there is great chemistry between the guys, serious bromances going on and Teller and Brolin do very well. It just failed to reach its full emotional potential.

In cinemas now 

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