Sidenote: I originally recorded a video review on Only the Brave, but in the process, I accidentally deleted the original source video to make room for the edited version…stupid mistake, I know. Oh well, time for a written review.
Only the Brave stars Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Jame Badge Dale, and a number of other actors that you’ve probably seen in other projects. Funny enough, most of these actors have been in a Marvel movie…but who hasn’t these days, am I right? Well, the story revolves around the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots that were responsible for stopping a number of dangerous forest fires often found in the mountains. The movie is mostly told in the perspective of “Donut”, played by Miles Teller, but that’s really all I can talk about when it comes to plot.
If you don’t know the true story, don’t look it up. This film is a true-enough depiction of the events that transpired for you to experience it in the best possible light. Reading something on Wikipedia could be educational, but watching this movie can both be educational…as well as emotional, as it really digs down deep to get you acquainted with all of these characters, so character development was definitely a big deal in the film, and because of that, the acting was tremendous all around. You’ll care about these characters, which paves way for pretty much everything else in the movie.
For instance, this is a very visually-stunning movie. You believe that what you are experiencing is real mountain fires, and not only that, but famous real mountain fires that were very dangerous to be around. You’ve got to hand it to the people responsible for those visuals because they really were beautiful and brilliant, all of which wouldn’t even be possible without a keen eye from the director and an open-minded editor that really knew how to put a film together from the inside out.
The only thing that I really had to complain about this movie is the same thing I often complain about with true stories, and that is the non-focus-driven plot. Yes, it tries very hard to get you acquainted with the characters, which works really well, but in doing so, you now know 20 guys well-enough and the plot is spread thin. Then again, there isn’t much plot direction when it comes to true stories. We just follow people around as they do their thing, but not knowing where something is headed can sometimes put a damper on the experience.
Overall, though, it was a very good movie that worked very hard on being consistently accurate and emotionally-charged at the same time. I was honestly impressed with how hard the filmmakers worked in order to make this thing a success. Well done.
TOTAL SCORE: 87/100
|Title||Only the Brave|
|NARRATIVE ARC SCORE||10|
|Sucks You In||1|
|Specialty 1:||Genres – Biographical|
|Specialty 1 Rating||10|
|Specialty 2:||Genres – Drama|
|Specialty 2 Rating||10|
|Specialty 3:||Concept – True Story|
|Specialty 3 Rating||10|
|Specialty 4:||Concept – Actor Specific|
|Specialty 4 Rating||5|
|Possible Awards||Adaptation, Visuals, True Story|