Brave tale brings alive major blaze
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.