Movie Review – Only the Brave (2017)

Hey 3.5 readers.

Quick review.  I don’t want to do my usual shenanigans for this movie as it feels like it would be disrespectful given the subject matter.

So basically this film is about the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a true story about an elite group of firefighters who fight the good fight for official certification and ultimately risk it all in a fire in Yarnell, AZ.  I won’t go into detail though since the movie is based on real events, you can Google it for more info or just go see the movie and find out what happens on your own.

Josh Brolin plays Eric Marsh, the superintendent of the crew.  He has a long battle ahead of him as the town he works for, well, the locals just don’t believe a hotshot crew, i.e., firefighters who actually run, jump, dash into forest fighters, dump water on them with helicopters and planes and so on, and put their lives in jeopardy, are necessary.  It’s up to convince the locals different and he and his hotshots work hard to prove their worth.

Miles Teller plays Brendan McDonough, a drug addicted screw-up who has ruined his life.  Jobless, kicked out of the house by his mother, dumped by his pregnant girlfriend who doesn’t want him to be a part of the baby’s life, he is unemployable anywhere else but for the dangerous, life risking hotshot crew.  The intense training turns his life around and gives him something to be proud of and as the story progresses, his loved ones see he has redeemed himself.

Marsh and Brendan are kindred spirits as Marsh had long ago fought a battle against drugs by becoming a hotshot firefighter.  The overall message seems to be that if you are facing demons in your life, the best way to rid yourself of them is to find something positive and productive to do.  You’ll never completely be free of them, but you might become so busy and tired that you won’t have the time or energy to indulge them.

There are some spectacular scenes of forest firefighting, including a cool one where a dude walks out to his pool one morning to find a helicopter house sucking up his pool water so it can be dumped on a forest fire.

Good film.  Gives us a glimpse into the ongoing problem of forest fires in the Southwest and a look into the lives of those who fight those fires.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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