Brave tale brings alive major blaze

Southern Telegraph - - Lifestyle - Only the Brave Re­viewer: Cecilia Allen

Only The Brave tells the cap­ti­vat­ing true story of the Gran­ite Moun­tain Hot­shots — a group of fire­fight­ers — who risked ev­ery­thing to pro­tect a town against the Yar­nell Hill blaze that hit Western Ari­zona in July 2013.

Un­like most nat­u­ral dis­as­ter films, Only the Brave does not rush to get to the events of one of the most cat­a­strophic wild­fires in US his­tory.

The film­mak­ers go out of their way to hu­man­ise as many of its char­ac­ters as pos­si­ble over a pe­riod of about six years and not just the mem­bers of the Gran­ite Moun­tain Hot­shots but their friends and fam­ily too.

In 2007 in Prescott, Ari­zona, Eric Marsh (Josh Brolin), of the Prescott Fire De­part­ment, is frustrated mop­ping up for­est fires while the Hot­shot fire­fight­ing crews over­look his op­er­a­tional sug­ges­tions.

Marsh gets ap­proval from the mayor to or­gan­ise a cer­ti­fied mu­nic­i­pal-based Hot­shot crew for Prescott.

In do­ing so, Marsh needs new re­cruits, which in­cludes the young, trou­bled and for­mer drug ad­dict Brendan McDonough (Miles Teller), to un­dergo the harsh train­ing and qual­i­fi­ca­tion test­ing for the most dan­ger­ous of fire­fight­ing duty.

The team meets the chal­lenge and are hailed the Gran­ite Moun­tain Hot­shots — the first ru­ral fire­fight­ing crew in Amer­ica ever li­censed to tackle major-cat­e­gory blazes.

By the time Yar­nell Hill breaks out, the risks fac­ing these men and the fears in their loved ones have sur­faced.

Al­though, the pac­ing is seem­ingly slow at times — this is clev­erly done to make the last few scenes of the film all the more com­pelling, par­tic­u­larly for peo­ple new to the fire.

Josh Brolin leads an ensem­ble cast in the grip­ping true story of one of the dead­li­est wild­fires in US his­tory: the Yar­nell Hill blaze that hit Western Ari­zona in July 2013.

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