Only the Brave is deeper than just action

Mackenzi NierDuffy, Staff Writer

On a rainy Saturday afternoon with nothing to do, I ended up at my go-to spot in town: the Regal Palmetto Grande theatre. Knowing little to nothing about any of the movies being shown, I ultimately decided to see Only the Brave. I had caught at least one preview for it, and it seemed entertaining: firefighters, lots of action and a little romance.

Oh man, how I underestimated this gripping, moving and inspirational film I was about to witness.

Only the Brave, directed by Joseph Kosinski, is based on a true story and stars Josh Brolin, Jennifer Connelly and Miles Teller in Prescott, Ariz., where forest fires are a regular occurrence. Fire and Rescue Crew 7, led by Eric Marsh (played by Brolin), is a group of 20 male firefighters trying to become certified as hotshots, so that they can better protect their town. Once certified as hotshots, this film follows the crew, now called the Granite Mountain Hotshots, as they combat Mother Nature all across the region together.

The brilliant use of special effects creates a strikingly realistic, yet horrifying, background for the heroic actions undertaken by these brave men. The visual effects combined with the sound effects completely immerse you into the midst of the inferno and keep you on the edge of your seat. This made the action scenes very sensuous and enjoyable, as well as heart stopping.

The true essence of Only the Brave, in my opinion, is found in the character development and underlying storylines. Although the movie follows firefighters, equally as many of the scenes involve the men’s lives apart from the fires, as ones that do. This was a great decision by the director, which is bolstered by the actors’ and actresses’ emotional and convincing performances.

The relationship between these men, their families and the town is put on display, as well as their various struggles: drug addiction, fatherhood, marriage and more. You become very attached to the characters, almost as if you knew them personally.

The portrayal of the unbreakable bond between these men and the many sacrifices they will make for each other generates an emotional response from the audience and is my favorite aspect of the film.

I walked into Only the Brave expecting a shallow, run-of-the-mill action movie, but it far exceeded my expectations. The true, courageous acts of the Granite Mountain Hotshots portrayed in this film were inspiring, powerful, stirring, and even educational. Go see Only the Brave, and it will be two hours well spent.