Chris’ Movie Review: Only The Brave

Chris’ Movie Review

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Only The Brave

Rating: 7/10 (Satisfying)

Recommendation: Pay The 8

Only The Brave stars Josh Brolin (Eric Marsh), Miles Teller (Brendon McDonough), Jennifer Connelly (Amanda Marsh), Jeff Bridges (Duane Steinbrink), James Badge Dale (Jesse Steed), and Taylor Kitsch (Chris MacKenzie).

Plot Summary

A group of men from Granite, AZ want to become Hot Shots. Simply the men in the front line of a forest fire. They’ve strived for years and they finally get their chance to prove themselves. But once they do, not only do things get hot with the fires, things heat up at home with their loved ones.

Review

Only The Brave is another movie based on a true story this year that out performs American Made in many aspects. But there are some issues that are present throughout Only The Brave.

For starters, the acting is great. Each actor is able to leave some sort of mark with their character. The actors really do feel like they are serving the real life heroes well. Josh Brolin and Jennifer Connelly hit it out of the park especially. But the best amongst the cast is Miles Teller. Call me crazy, but this is Miles Teller’s best performance to date. And I know what you’re thinking “What about Whiplash?” Just hold on a second let me get into.

Okay, I’m getting into it. Miles plays the most relatable character that I’ve ever seen in his movie career. He’s able to make this person feel like someone we know. The problem with Whiplash is his character is distant. He’s never able to act it in a way to make that character feel relatable. Which is the point, I know, but great actors are able to make us connect with distant characters and Miles just couldn’t.

Now, I’m not taking away anything Miles has done in the past. He’s still really solid in Whiplash but Only The Brave is the best he’s ever done. Dare I say, Oscar nomination for Best Supporting? Maybe that’s a stretch but he deserves some serious consideration.

The cast of characters is large but they’re all likable. One of the hardest things to do is to make a group of characters likable, enduring, and relatable. Yes, these are based on real people, but the film goes out of its way to help develop more than just one or two individuals. It gives time to others and makes the cast feel like a family. Yes, people do get left aside but everyone gets a little bit of time in the sun and it’s enough to make us connect with them just a little bit.

Now, there are some negatives and one is the pacing of the story. There are moments when this film just drags on and on. The plot just feels misused a little to often as well. For instance, there’s a celebration scene that’s at least 5-7 minutes long. During that, nothing really happens that’s significant. And actually, this occurs a few too many times.

There are scenes that just don’t seem to have a reason to be there. They don’t necessarily advance any of the characters and it just feels thrown in to extend the run time. Now this isn’t to take away from the really good scenes but you have to point out that there are bad ones because you’ll comeback to be and ask “Why didn’t you tell us this movie had unimportant scenes?”

Lastly, this film doesn’t really have action. Also, it’s never really explained how the Hot Shots keep fires at bay. Now, we don’t need a huge exposition dump but having some sort of idea of how things work would be nice. And as for the limited action, the trailer is sort of deceptive in making you think there are more fire scenes than what’s shown throughout the movie. To be honest, I think there’s really 3-4 fire scenes and none of them really feel that important. The team seems way too stout so it takes away from any tension that should be created during these events.

Overall

Only The Brave is a decent telling of a “Based on a true story” movie. There are a lot of misses but there’s enough charm to make up for the mistakes.

The pacing is bad at times. The film has a lot of seemingly useless scenes that drag on and on. And the action is limited. But the acting is great. The crew is super likable. And this is possibly the best Miles Teller performance to date.

If you’re looking for something that’s not Geostorm (I’ll get to that in a bit), then this should suffice.

As usual, thanks for reading!

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