Thursday, 16 November 2017

Only The Brave Film Review

Apologies for my very late Only The Brave review that I saw last week. Directed by Joseph Kosinski and starring Josh Brolin, (have I really been watching him since The Goonies), and Miles Teller. Both very impressive in a very strong cast.

The true story of The Granite Mountain Hotshots who fought wildfires across the US. Based in their home town of Prescott, Arizona, they fought their way up the hypothetical firefighting ladder, from infantry style Type 2 Deucers, digging ditches and creating fire breaks, but they had to give way to the firefighting marines, the Hotshots. Until they made it to the top and won their own Hotshots title.

Josh Brolin keeps the line as the Supervisor Eric Marsh, with Jeff Bridges his mentor in the Arizona Fire Service. Wife Amanda played by Jennifer Connelly has a way with men and horses, but both are building their lives from the bottom upwards. Into the close knit firefighter group comes Miles Teller's Brendan, looking to make a career and earn money to support a baby daughter. As a junkie he is not perhaps the best recruit but Marsh gives him a break. And he makes the hill and back again so he's in.

The crew are given a try out at a local wild fire with Marsh acting like an arse, but the auditor giving his men full marks as the most professional crew he's seen. And they're flying. Among them are James Badge Dale as Marsh's deputy, and Taylor Kitsch really funny as one of the manly men.

It is a brave and at times funny film that I thought was really poignant with terrifying fires. Because I didn't know the story the ending was all the more harsh. And was a lovely tribute to those brave men of Granite Mountain.

On June 30, 2013, 19 of the 20 members of the group perished fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire:

Ashcraft, Andrew - Age: 29.
Caldwell, Robert - Age: 23.
Carter, Travis - Age: 31.
Deford, Dustin - Age: 24.
MacKenzie, Christopher - Age: 30.
Marsh, Eric - Age: 43.
McKee, Grant - Age: 21.
Misner, Sean - Age: 26.
Norris, Scott - Age: 28.
Parker, Wade - Age: 22.
Rose, Anthony - Age: 23.
Steed, Jesse - Age: 36.
Thurston, Joe - Age: 32.
Turbyfill, Travis - Age: 27.
Warneke, William - Age: 25.
Whitted, Clayton - Age: 28.
Woyjeck, Kevin - Age: 21.
Zuppiger, Garret - Age: 27.

They gave the best of what they had. At the memorial service, Vice President Joe Biden stated, “All men are created equal and then some become firefighters.” The Granite Mountain Hotshots crew was discontinued after the 2013 tragedy.

But then the lone survivor makes his way back to the expectant town, and it's heartbreaking when he arrives. Everyone so hopeful that it's their man. And the agony when they realise it's not.

And it really makes me think that when you next see wild fires on tv, that brave men and women are actually out there on the ground protecting lives, and it's not just water being dropped from above.

An amazing story of ordinary heroes just doing their daily duty. We should be very proud of them.

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