DECENT DISASTER FILM
Film Review by Fiore
For a disaster film, ONLY THE BRAVE fares better than most. Though long, it offers fine acting and exceptional cinematography.
Disaster films cannot simply show the disaster. The films spend most of their time creating emotional content for the viewers. The often mundane lives of principals involved in the disaster are orchestrated to allow a crescendo of empathy for those characters once the disaster occurs.
To accomplish this, a producer needs several key elements. First is quality actors and ONLY THE BRAVE succeeds here. Josh Brolin, Jeff Bridges and Jennifer Connolly combine to add gravitas to the story. Connolly is exceptionally notable, and may garner Best Supporting Actress nods.
The next elements needed are technical. The script needs to be solid, and this one is. Those who know the story of the Granite Mountain Hot Shots will be familiar with the story and its conclusion. Those not, will be pleasantly surprised. Even though the film is over two hours, it is well paced. With the exception of the road discussion and walk home sequence, it flows well enough to make its length unnoticeable.
ONLY THE BRAVE also features impressive cinematography, especially the aerial shots of the wildfires. There is also a cool special effect of a burning bear, which symbolically serves as a chapter segue throughout the tale.
Disaster tales are generally trite. There stories are mere appetizers to SFX wizardry. ONLY THE BRAVE offers more, and makes for a much better viewing experience.