Director J.D. Dillard says he grew up hearing all about his father’s experience as the second African-American pilot for the Blues Angels, so naturally when Adam Makos’s book, Devotion came out, he was immediately intrigued by the screen adaptation. The book tells the story of the friendship and, yes, devotion (from which the name is partly derived) of two elite US Navy fighter pilots who played a large role in one of the most intense battles of the Korean War in the early 1950s. But this story is significant because it really tells the extraordinary story of Jesse Brown, who became the first black aviator in the history of the Navy, and along with his unique friendship and working relationship with Tom Hudner, the couple became a legend as the true heroes of the wingman fleet.
Just a few months after the giant success Top Shooter Maverick, this Sony Pictures release, which had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival tonight, is a serious and sometimes exhilarating air war epic that may not quite soar to such heights (what could?), but holds its own. to Brown, racism. he experienced, and other aspects of his life, personally and in the air, it is a story that goes on at its own pace, despite the inevitable comparisons that people will make. The success of Tom Cruise’s film may actually influence audiences to come see this film as well.
Jonathan Majors plays Brown, and he excels in the role, showing the sacrifice he made for his family and country, the obstacles he faced, and the genuine camaraderie he had with Glenn, a mensch named Tom Hudner. Powell, who also turned out to have played a significant role in Top Shooter Maverick, strengthening the link between the two 2022 releases. In fact, Powell first discovered the book and launched it, and he also has executive producer credit.
Name Devotion it’s just that it’s because it’s important for the wingmen to be so loyal to their partner, but this film also has some touching scenes with Brown and his wife (Christina Jackson), fear of separation and possibly never seeing each other again as he leaves on duty . Also explored is Brown’s loneliness and frustration at being the only black pilot in the fleet, but he stands out from the hot white pilots for other reasons, and that is his own unique flying style and ability, shown early on when pilots compete. be part of the front lines of Navy pilots sent here on a deadly mission, a key to the Korean War. This is where Dillard can pull off some mind-blowing aerial stunts and battles, but remember that this is 1950, not Best shooter a universe that has seen brighter aircraft and abilities. In comparison, they were pioneers.
I also really enjoyed some of the lighter scenes, especially when Brown, Hudner and their buddies have free time to go to Cannes, where the film festival is taking place. Here, too, racism rears its ugly head, but Brown really triumphs through a chance meeting with Liz Taylor and her invitation to join her that night at the casino, which stuns his buddies. It’s interesting to watch, and it’s obvious that Majors, who also speaks flawless French, loves to play it and break the stereotypes of that period.
However, the most harrowing moments come when his plane crashes in combat and he can’t get rid of it. It is here that the friendship between Tom and Jesse is shown in all its glory, but at its most harrowing as Tom risks everything to save Jesse. Both actors, Powell and Majors, convey emotional aspects that will probably not leave the house dry in the eyes.
The acting is equally good everywhere, but in the end this movie belongs to Major, who puts on one of his best performances. Thomas Sadoski as Dick Cevoli and Joe Jonas as Marty Hood also have their moments. Sure, Powell, as his second Navy Fighter Pilot of the Year, fits the role like a glove, but also brings some edginess to it. Written by Jake Crane and Jonathan A. H. Stewart, the screenplay doesn’t break anything new in the genre, but serves the characters and Brown’s inspirational story. Chanda Dancy’s music took off just like the planes.
Produced by Molly Smith, Rachel Smith, Tad Luckinbill and Trent Luckinbill for a Black Label Media production to be released by Sony for the Thanksgiving holiday.