Only the Brave

Drama,Biography

Bases on a true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, an elite firefighting crew that combats the worst forest blazes Discuss this article

2017_onlythebrave
© ITP Images

Soaked in Americana and twangy guitars, Only the Brave provides an uncomplicated, hearty glimpse into the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, an elite firefighting crew that combats the worst forest blazes. Led by Josh Brolin, the film treats its central unit more like a group of soldiers, complete with basic training and helicopter rides into battle with an enemy they dub “the beast.” While aspects of the routine become mundane, it’s the developing brotherhood among the men that ultimately strengthens this rather weak story.

Director Joseph Kosinski (TRON: Legacy) depicts the infernos in dazzling aerial shots. But though many of the scenes in which Marsh and his crew navigate forest fires are visually stunning, they lack the intensity of most war scenes, or even of 1991’s Backdraft. Despite the threats on display, Kosinski never imbues his movie with a real sense of danger until it’s too late to take the threat seriously.

Brolin remains compelling despite having little to display, but the stellar cast – including Jennifer Connelly and Jeff Bridges – are largely limited to reaction shots. The result is a removed feeling, them separated from the action that should keep things pumping, that is, unfortunately, shared by us.

The bottom line
It’s not Backdraft. Then again, what is?

By Zachary Shevich
Time Out Abu Dhabi,

Only the Brave

  • Duration: 133
  • Released: Thu, 26 Oct
  • Language: English
  • Director: Joseph Kosinski
  • Stars: Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges

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