ONLY THE BRAVE
* * * ½
(Based on true story of Granite Mountain Firefighters)
You may remember the tragic story of the Granite Mountain hotshot firefighters and their bravery fighting the Yarnell Fire in Arizona in 2013.
Only the Brave recounts their story from their formation through their training to their bravery and determination in fighting fierce, uncontrollable forest fires. The action scenes are so realistic you can feel the heat as you watch these young, brave men literally fight fire with fire.
The movie concentrates on two men and their personal problems. Josh Brolin plays Eric Marsh, the leader of the Green Mountain Hot Shots who dedicates his life to developing a team that can become certified as "hot shots.” Miles Teller plays Donut, a troubled young man who had a drug problem and also got a woman pregnant. Donut wants to turn his life around, and Marsh gives him a chance to fill the last spot on his squad. The personal problems of the two men and their women parallel each other, making for a diversion to the intense fire fighting.
The two and a quarter-hour movie starts slowly and spends too much time on the back stories before it explodes with exciting scenes of the men fighting fires as the squad is finally certified, the only municipal team to earn the honor.
It all leads to the Yarnell Fire and a scene that will leave you exhausted. Many of us remember the outcome, which still comes as an emotional shock.
Stay for the credits and photos of the real life men.
Rated PG-13, with some profanity and sexual references and some very intense scenes.