Cinematic Releases: A Blaze of Glory: Only The Brave (2017) Reviewed

Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, and Jennifer Connelly lead a stellar cast in this week's tear jerking tale of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. 

Centered on the fateful tale of the crew of fire fighters that battled nature's wrath, Only The Brave is a dramatic entry that's worthy of several Oscar nods and a large batch of soaked tissues. Putting their lives in danger to save the citizens of many small towns while also protecting some of mother earth's prized possessions, this film captures the essence of selfless abandonment while also painting a vivid portrait of heroism amplified. Where most would turn tail at the slightest sign of danger, this crew fought vigorously through dozens of wildfires, only to be tragically lost in an instant. 

Finally, Josh Brolin gets the room to lead an ensemble cast through the thick and thin of real life situations. Backed by the newly invigorated Miles Teller, who most definitely deserves an Academy Award for his performance here, Brolin has the space to inhabit the role of Eric Marsh. Teller shines as he finally starts to break some of the trappings he's fallen into. His character arc in Only The Brave lets him change and adapt, moving from the shadows of a drug addled Brendan McDonough to his rightful spot as a heroic member of the team. James Badge Dale also sees new heights, but it's honestly Taylor Kitsch that surprised me most. Metamorphing from his typical boring parts to the slightly damaged but ultimately good hearted Christopher MacKenzie, Kitsch is a ray of light.

However, as good as the human components are in Only The Brave, the main character is tension that's topped off by a huge dose of great looking visual effects work. The fire scenes are hyper realistic, not over dramatized, and have an excellent sense of how it might feel to be involved in an actual blaze. With beautiful camerawork that's layered by stunning natural vistas, this is a wonderful looking film that never loses its focus. Yes, it's a story about the Granite Mountain Hotshots, but it's also about capturing the fiery disasters that inhabit our planet on a yearly basis. Director Joseph Kosinski (Oblivion and Tron:Legacy) moves from the sci-fi realm to drama with ease. 

As these types of films go, I can honestly say this is one of the best that's been made. It doesn't focus too much on the rendered visuals but uses them to add luster to an already powerful script about teamwork and the importance of family. Resting on a set of actors that's spotlighted by weighty support from Jeff Bridges and Andie MacDowell, Only The Brave is in the top batch of 2017. While it's a hard, heart wrenching story to take in, it's something that definitely needed to be told.