Only the Brave: Raging Flames, Spectacular Imagery, and the Hero Legacy

“Only the Brave” captures spectacular imagery of the grandeur of the mountain forests of Arizona, and the beauty and ferocious nature of fire. In its most personal Director Joseph Kosinski’s “Only the Brave” does move us. Beautiful compassionate Jennifer Connely as Amanda, wife of Granite Mountain Hotshots supervisor Eric, played by solid Josh Brolin, consoles Miles Teller’s Brendan, who breakdowns in tears. Her Amanda tells Brendan, “Don’t you dare” think of your life as less than. In the midst of melodrama and raging flames, “Only the Brave” is about the legacy of Hero. This ultimately works and inspires.

Ken Nolan and Eric Warren Singer wrote the screenplay based on the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots firefighters, who fought the historic forest fire in Arizona. Brolin’s Eric is the leader of the tier 2 firefighters who become Hotshots and heroes. Brolin embodies the passion and nobility for what he does as a firefighter, protecting the community.

As the movie opens that passion is the source of conflict of his marriage to Connely’s Amanda, who raises horses on their ranch. Apparently, Amanda sacrificed having a family to be with Eric. That secret is the melodrama that mostly lands as authentic. Brolin and Connely’s poignant chemistry eases some of the predictable narrative. It’s nice to see Jennifer Connely back in the movies.

Teller’s Brendan is the lost stoner, who discovers that he is going to be a father from his estranged girlfriend Natalie, smart sweet Natalie Johnson. This is Brendan’s wake-up call that he has to make something of his life instead of smoking dope with his buddies. Brendan applies for a slot on Eric’s crew. Eric immediately outs Brendan as drug addict, and offers him the challenge to make the team.

Miles Teller has this gentle spirit that enrolls us in Brendan. His vulnerability is powerful. This is his chance for redemption in life. He turns his life around. In the heartwarming scene, grubby Brendan sheds tears as he holds his baby daughter Makayla in his arms. “Only the Brave” is at its best in the quiet moments.

Eric and Brendan’s relationship is the heart and soul of “Only the Brave”. Through rigorous training and firefights Eric and his crew earn the Hotshots rating. But the work takes its toll on all, especially new Dad Brendan, who can’t spend time with his baby daughter. Eric knows Brendan so very well, and his past. Eric eloquently tells him, “I am you.” It’s about love. Love breathes greatness in others. This is how heroes are born.

“Only the Brave” inspires. Kosinski respectfully pays homage to the actual brave men of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. Heroes give their all and use their powers for good. The heroes’ legacy expands in the telling of their stories. “Only the Brave” does this in great understatement and more.

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Originally Published on IMDb

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