134 minute running time so at least 30 to 40 minutes too long. SPOILERS: I didn’t realize this movie was commemorating a real tragedy, memorializing a group of wildfire firefighters, a.k.a., “hotshots.” It did make me wonder if the disaster were avoidable … were bad decisions made? I guess that’s something you can’t dare ask.
What interested me about it most were the parallels to War Porn … Josh Brolin is a sergeant (“Superintendent”) leading his squad of brave and buff young white men into battle, except they’re not killing ragheads in the desert to protect the homeland, they are battling mother nature to protect homes in the western United States. The classic-rock soundtrack, the pretty blonde wives (and nurses!) who call their men heroes, the fetishizing of the gear and the rigors of the training — all the usual macho stuff, just a different context.
It wasn’t badly made, but it was way too long … the culture of wildfire firefighters is interesting, and they did about as good a job dramatizing it as they could … but, it gets a yellow rating from me.