In 2007 Prescott, Arizona, Eric Marsh of the Prescott Fire Department is frustrated fighting forest fires when the Type 1 or "Hotshot" front line forest fire fighting crews from afar overrule his operational suggestions to his area's sorrow. To change that, Marsh gets approval from the Mayor to attempt to organize an unprecedented certified municipal-based Hotshot crew for Prescott. To that end, Marsh needs new recruits, which includes the young wastrel, Brendan McDonough, to undergo the rigorous training and qualification testing for the most dangerous of fire fighting duty. Along the way, the new team meets the challenge and the hailed Granite Mountain Hotshots are born. In doing so, all the men, especially McDonough, are changed as new experience and maturity is achieved in fire-forged camaraderie. All this is put to the test in 2013 with the notorious Yarnell Hill Fire that will demand efforts and sacrifices no one can ignore.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
Before the credits roll the real Granite Mountain Hotshots are shown along with the actors who portrayed them. See more »
The film's IMAX release presented the film open-matte, at an aspect ratio of 1.90:1, meaning there was more picture information visible in the top and bottom of the frame than in normal theaters and on home video. See more »
Not everybody has heard the true story this movie is based on. I went into this movie only based on what I saw in the trailer. Since it's nonfiction, I knew it wouldn't be your typical cookie-cutter type narrative, but I still expected it, and was blown away by the tragic events, and the extraordinary way it was presented on screen.
This is the story of a special group of trained firefighters in dealing specifically with forest/brush fires. Their primary goal is to save as much land and lives as possible, as well as homes, from massive fires. These men train for years and when they meet certain requirements, are given qualifications to be labeled as "Hotshots," which seems to be the equivalent of an actuary obtaining their Fellowship, or a boy scout achieving his Eagle Scout, or a junior varsity becoming varsity (or a varsity obtaining their Letter). Hotshots also literally fight fire with fire, opposed to regular firefighters who fight fire with water. This is based on an actual crew, their lives and relationships with each other and their families, along with the work they bear, the hardships they endure, and the fires they face.
The most efficient aspects of the film are the acting, storytelling, and cinematography. The movie focuses more on their lives and relationships than the actual firefighting, but it does contain a fair amount of action. Beautiful Arizona scenery surrounds the key players and their fellow crew members as they battle an only-slightly-predictable threat.
Only cons I have are ones I had to nit-pick. The film in an effort to reach out to a wider audience, should have toned down the profanity, which is heavy even for a modern PG-13 movie. A few of the relationship dramas/arguments seemed contrived, and while they did a great job explaining the countermeasures they take to battle the fires, there still is some confusion to their methods, and it would have been nice to know some of the other members of crew better.
Phenomenal film, however, and was a tremendous memorial to these men and women.
This isn't just a story about specific men and women in history who made sacrifices to protect one state, this is about all emergency responders. Just like how most stories about the military focus on certain groups and individuals, but remains a tribute to ALL who make a living from defending other people's lives and liberties.
God bless our emergency responders, as well as our military, police, city firefighters, paramedics, so forth.
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