Flash Movie Review: Only the Brave

IDEALLY IT SHOULD BE in balance within one’s life, but that is not always the case. And truthfully sometimes the circumstances are out of the person’s control. Trying to find the balance between one’s work and personal life takes determined strength with a bit of finesse. I have mentioned before how my work load dominates my personal life; from the day job to teaching to writing film reviews, there is a part of me that feels like I have missed out on many things. However, I do realize I am fortunate in the circle of friends around me who understand my crazy schedule as I try to negotiate time to get together with each of them. Others may not be as fortunate. There is an acquaintance of mine that is in sales. It is difficult to get a hold of him because day and night he is usually with clients; making plans to get together is almost impossible.     NOW IT OCCURS TO me that I might have been prejudiced against certain occupations. I noticed when a “workaholic” was involved with a worthy cause; I would cut them some slack if they were not always available for family and friends. However if the person worked for a large for profit corporation, I was not so forgiving. Honestly from watching this film I have been thinking about this lopsided thinking when it comes to whether I perceive the business is doing something good or not for the planet. Who am I to assume the person who works 60-80 hours a week to help the homeless is a better person, than the state employee who puts in double shifts to help plow the city streets after a snowstorm? They each are important in their own way; no matter what the job entails the employee plays a vital part in the success of the employer. The one thing I am curious about is how people wind up in their jobs. I wonder if they always wanted to be let us say a window washer or actuary; or did the individual follow in a parent’s footsteps or just fell into the job. These were the type of questions I had when I watched this dramatic, biographical movie.     IT TAKES A CERTAIN type of person to fight a forest fire and Eric Marsh, played by Josh Brolin (Inherent Vice, Old Boy), believed he knew what was needed. He just had to prove it to the people in charge. Based on a true story the cast also included Miles Teller (War Dogs, That Awkward Moment) as Brendan McDonough, Jeff Bridges (True Grit, Kingsman: The Golden Circle) as Duane Steinbink, Jennifer Connelly (Blood Diamond, A Beautiful Mind) as Amanda Marsh and Taylor Kitsch (Lone Survivor, Battleship) as Christopher MacKenzie. Having not seen or experienced what forest firefighters do, there were aspects of this story that were amazing. The acting was excellent; the standouts for me were Jennifer, Miles and Josh. For such an incredible story I had a challenging time with the script. The story would go from thrilling, nerve wracking scenes to snippets of a personal nature. What was presented regarding the plight of these types of firefighters, I had wished more time was spent on building up the characters’ personal stories. I felt I was only getting a partial piece of the puzzle so to speak. This movie about the Granite Mountain Hotshots deserves stars just on the story alone; as for the entertainment value of this picture it left me slightly cool.


2 ¾ stars




About moviejoltz

From a long line of movie afficionados, one brother was the #1 renter of movies in the country with Blockbuster, I am following in the same traditions that came before me. To balance out the long hours seated in dark movie theaters, I also teach yoga and cycling. For the past 3 years, I have correctly picked the major Oscar winners... so join me as we explore the wonder of movies and search for that perfect 4 star movie.

Posted on October 25, 2017, in Drama and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Having seen the trailer, this is a film I definitely want to see. It didn’t open well at the box office, but maybe it will grow legs…

  2. I had a feeling this movie was going to be tepid just by virtue of how much the distributors have been promoting it. It felt like they knew it was going to need a serious push to get people buying tickets. It is a shame the screenplay is so weak because I am sure it is a very interesting story.

  3. I saw previews and wondered the same. The previews themselves seemed choppy.
    My brother had been a firefighter and so I’m curious as to his take. Anyone experienced can find technical errors in everything. (He later went on to be an airline pilot, which was his dream), but any time they needed volunteers he would jump at the opportunity. I helped shelter evacuees for the Glenwood Canyon fires in 2002 and the previous Storm King fire in Glenwood killed several firefighters years earlier. When I went there, they kept moving us because the wind shift was always changing, so I do have some experience with that part of it. Going there, I felt like I was driving into hell itself, quite intimidating. On that note, I’d still like to see how the film plays out. Thanks for your input.

  4. I realize they could not get everyone’s back story and I don’t know if there was a book to go with it. Having been present to feed these guys on another fire in Colorado, up near Telluride, I got to talk to some of these hotshots and gals. Yes there are female hotshots that came down from Northern California and other states like Montana and such. They were all sooty but their spirits were high. The bond with one another was evident. I think they did a great job of depicting their strength and playfulness among the crew. The attendance in theater I was in was nearly full and its been running awhile, so perhaps it got a late start. The big push may be due to the competition of the many super hero films that have automatic draws. I did cry, but I’ve also seen these fires and had to relocate shelters several times due to their unpredictability. Wind shifts can so change the course of a fire and until you’ve been there, it’s hard to comprehend. My heart felt for the families but also for the one left behind. There were things I did not like, such as the surreal bear of fire, though he mentions it early on. The tension and pressure to give it up is very real. My brother has yet to see it but definitely intends to.

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