In my positive review of Joseph Kosinski‘s Only The Brave (Sony, 10.20), a firefighting drama set in Prescott, Arizona, I mentioned that the characters are all “youngish and white, Prescott being one of the whitest cities in the country….each and every character is Wonderbread.”
I mentioned that I felt “slightly bothered by the fact that these guys are probably all red-state conservatives but I got past that.” I also said that “when the big tragedy finally hits…I wouldn’t want to lie and say I didn’t feel slightly conflicted about the fact that the 19 real-life victims probably would have voted for Donald Trump had they lived, but I felt the sadness, for sure.”
All to say that Only The Brave is a red-state flick about brawny, beer-drinking men doing the hard firefighting thing, and that it’s aimed at red-state beefalos.
In any event, Brent Lang‘s Variety story about Brad Parscale, the digital media director for Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, having been hired by Only the Brave producers to help sell the film to red-state moviegoers, falls right into line.
“Black Label Media, the film’s financier, retained Parscale to supplement online and social media marketing efforts,” Lang reports. “Sony Pictures is distributing the $38 million production, which is on track to open to a weak $6 million when it debuts this weekend.”
Under different circumstances I might feel irked about a Trump campaigner trying to sell an inspirational red-state film, but the bottom line, as I said on 10.11, is that Only The Brave is better than decent.
“In movie-lore terms the Only The Brave firefighters are a team of Howard Hawks hombres, or guys who measure themselves by the same macho yardstick that Cary Grant applied in Only Angels Have Wings and which John Wayne demanded of his men in Red River. ‘How good are you?’, ‘Do you have what it takes?’, ‘Can I depend on you when the heat comes down and the going gets tough?'” etc.