As I’ve stated before in other reviews, it’s kind of weird to me that we’re making movies about people that have died not even half a decade ago. It’s not like I think it’s immoral, or that we should go on a crusade about it, but I am a little interested in how movies like this are coming out at an increased rate.
Only the Brave ended up being a good movie if not an unimpressive one.
Josh Brolin, Jennifer Connelly, Miles Teller, that one guy from John Connor, every one does really good with the content they are given. Connelly ended up giving the best performance out of all of them, which is odd because the cast list involves not only Josh Brolin but Jeff Bridges too.
Teller was fantastic too, but burly guy with a troubled background is a role I’ve seen him play four times these past two years alone, so it’s not like we’re seeing anything new here.
The plot really tries to emphasize the life of a “hot shot” firefighter: how tough it is, how much it stresses out family life, and how close knit these guys are. The film is really serviceable when it comes to these elements, but it never really goes much deeper than surface-level facts.
The hot shots make up a group of 20 men, but the film really only focuses on about three of them extensively, and one other that was more than surface-level. As for the rest of them, it was almost impossible to differentiate them from the others. They probably could have fleshed out four or five more of them if they got rid of some of the filler (like the constant cutbacks to the “fire bear” that served almost no purpose in the film).
Honestly though, this movie was really enjoyable, respectful, and honoring of the real life firefighters in the film.
The cinematography was nothing memorable. Likewise, the music in the movie was about as cut-and-paste as any ordinary film.
But nothing in the movie, except for one aspect, is really a “problem” about the final product.
That one “problem” aspect? The dialogue.
The dialogue did do its job whenever it needed to, but there were quite a few moments in the film where it did too much telling, and not enough showing. There were also a handful of lines that were incredibly cheesy.
But that was to be expected in a film like this; it’s not aiming to be some phenomenal piece of art and storytelling. It’s trying to be a story that’s respectful to the people portrayed in the movie, all the while trying to serve it up to a mainstream audience. However, that doesn’t mean that the film wouldn’t have been better if they gave it to a writer or director that was capable of making a riveting story.
But then again, can I really fault a film for deciding to use this story to make a well-made biopic, instead of a cinematic masterpiece? No, I really can’t.
I enjoyed this movie, I’m glad I saw it, and there are quite a few moments that pack an emotional punch. If you like movies like 13 Hours, or Patriots Day, or any of these movies, then you will love Only the Brave. If you don’t love these kind of movies, then it’s not like you’re going to be missing out if you decide to skip it.