Only The Brave


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Only The Brave
"Half way through you ask yourself, why am I watching this film?"

In this age of global warming when forest fires are on the increase and small towns are being razed to their basement core those who face them on the ground have become heroes even though most people don't understand what they do.

Here we have a "based on" reconstruction movie which indicates that this Arizonian fire fighting crew amazed its peers, or suffered losses, or achieved incredible things because why make a movie about them otherwise? The answer comes two hours later. For the majority of the time it's male bonding, sexist banter, guys behaving badly (but not too badly).

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"Let's just do what we do," Chief Marsh (Josh Brolin) says.

And they're up and after. They respect him. He's ambitious for his men, for his community, for himself. He loves his job. One time an old guy from another crew is sent over to check out their competence. In the midst of a big fire situation he and the chief disagree about what to do next. The oldster pulls rank. "I've got 40 years on you," he says. "When I started you were shittin' yella." The chief tells him to settle back down and goddam observe. They have a fire to fight. His way.

It's that kinda movie, tough and rough and hard won. Dangerous, too. You gotta stay focused. You gotta look out for your buddy. And while we're talkin' rudimentaries in this proud piece of land we call love, don't forgit to vote Republican.

The women, the wives, the ones who keep it together during those long days and lonely nights are pissed because the guys are away so much. And when they're back there are the get-in-line-howdy-hi singalongs, the country music beerfests as if cozy-on-home don't have the same rush no more.

Half way through you ask yourself, why am I watching this film? Do I care whether the chief's wife (Jennifer Connelly) will persuade him to quit before she rides off into the sunset on her white stallion? She loves him, sure.

"It's not easy sharin' with a man and a fire."

And then there's Donut (Miles Teller) a junkie whose one-night-stand hits the jackpot first up and he does the honourable thing, chills the turkey and cleans his veins, joins the firefighters and does good for their baby daughter - bless!

It is not easy to comprehend what the crew does exactly when the fires are raging. They cut trees and parts of trees and dig little bitty trenches and light fires themselves to create a break, or something, as long as the wind doesn't change. No one says anything about the what in "What's going on, mate", because in Big Boot County you are supposed to know.

These are good people. Some might say dull. That's absurd! These men are heroes and these women are related to Tammy Wynette. Or should be.

Why does the film make you want to rush home and binge on a Breaking Bad boxset until your brain blows up?

Reviewed on: 10 Nov 2017
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Only The Brave packshot
A group of firefighters try to protect a town from a wildfire.
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Director: Joseph Kosinski

Writer: Ken Nolan, Eric Warren Singer, based on a magazine article by Sean Flynn

Starring: Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges, Jennifer Connelly, James Badge Dale, Taylor Kitsch, Andie MacDowell, Geoff Stults, Alex Russell, Thad Luckinbill, Ben Hardy, Scott Haze, Jake Picking, Scott Foxx, Dylan Kenin

Year: 2017

Runtime: 134 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: US


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