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Old 11-20-2022, 12:54 PM
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Arrow Devotion Review: J.D. Dillardís Korean War Epic Plays Like a Navy Recruitment Ad

Devotion Review: J.D. Dillardís Korean War Epic Plays Like a Navy Recruitment Ad
By: Derek Smith - Slant News - 11-20-22
Re: https://www.slantmagazine.com/film/d...nathan-majors/

Devotion will do little to change perceptions of the Korean War as the ďforgotten war.Ē
PHoto link: https://www.slantmagazine.com/wp-con...on-768x383.jpg
Photo by: Columbia Pictures

The Vought F4U Corsair fighter planes that naval aviators Jesse Brown (Jonathan Majors) and Tom Hudner (Glen Powell) learn to fly in J.D. Dillardís Devotion were renowned for their speed and power in combat throughout the 1940s and í50s. The limited visibility of the aircrafts and their sensitivity to weight distribution, though, made them extremely difficult to handle. They look slick, but when mishandled, the results could be disastrous, as evidenced by one pilotís (Nick Hargrove) slightly flawed decisions in the air, resulting in a fatal crash.

Itís a fitting metaphor for the modern Hollywood biopic, which, when thoughtfully maneuvered by a skilled director, can occasionally soar. Yet, even in the hands of the most capable filmmakers, audiences are more often left with bloated, unwieldy behemoths like Devotion, an unfocused, awkwardly paced film that never quite gets off the ground and, as a result, will do little to change perceptions of the Korean War as the ďforgotten war.Ē

When it keeps its proverbial wings level, focusing on the too-infrequent aerial missions or actually delving into Brownís turmoil as he faces the challenges of being the Navyís first Black aviator, Devotion can be compelling. But itís bogged down by often sluggish plotting and an overreliance on the most tiresome tropes of war films and racial dramas, while also remaining doggedly apolitical in its perspective. It never quite finds its bearings, and its forced attempts to inspire as a social issue film only highlight how flat and lifeless it is as a work of drama.

Pairing Majors with Powell was certainly the filmmakersí smartest move. Though more restrained here than he was in Joseph Kosinskiís Top Gun: Maverick, Powell gets to intermittently channel the sheer force of his charisma, and it contrasts effectively with the quietly powerful Majors. Indeed, Majorsís subdued yet empathetic portrayal of Jesse does far more to bring the manís sorrows and frustrations into sharper focus than Jake Crane and Jonathan Stewartís screenplay. The actor conveys Jesseís deep-seated pain and resilience merely through a wrinkle in his brow, a measured pause in his response, or in his guarded manner around everyone in his unit, including his wingman, Tom.

View the trailer Devotion (Jesse Brown and Thomas Huder
Re: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cuo1...re=emb_rel_end

Re: Pairing Majors with Powell was certainly the filmmakersí smartest move. Though more restrained here than he was in Joseph Kosinskiís Top Gun: Maverick, Powell gets to intermittently channel the sheer force of his charisma, and it contrasts effectively with the quietly powerful Majors. Indeed, Majorsís subdued yet empathetic portrayal of Jesse does far more to bring the manís sorrows and frustrations into sharper focus than Jake Crane and Jonathan Stewartís screenplay. The actor conveys Jesseís deep-seated pain and resilience merely through a wrinkle in his brow, a measured pause in his response, or in his guarded manner around everyone in his unit, including his wingman, Tom.

Regrettably, few of Jesse and Tomís interactions do much to shed any additional light on their friendship and Jesseís interiority, mostly stressing Tomís willingness to stand up for Jesse whenever his buddy faces direct or indirect racism. That the duo are surrounded by so many bland avatars of masculine identity doesnít help matters, nor does the filmís reductive ďbad appleĒ approach to racism, which puts nearly all of the vitriol and violent threats heading Jesseís way in the mouth of a single character, Buddy Gill (Boone Platt).

Despite also being based on a real person, Jesse and Tomís platoon commander, Dick Cevoli (Thomas Sadoski), is clearly a 21st-century concoction, given that heís a fount of seemingly endless patience and compassion, and prone to tenderly delivering the sort of sage advice that handily, and sometimes risibly, pushes Devotion into dissonant territory. Elsewhere, Jesseís wife, Daisy (Christina Jackson), is a cookie-cutter representation of the dutiful, supportive housewife, right down to the unintentionally comical detail of her always being hard at work painting a different wall in their new house whenever Jesse comes home.

For all its warmed-over character and narrative beats, Devotion does finally deliver on some of its promise in the third act once Jesse, Tom, and company find themselves in the throes of battle in North Korea. Itís not the most viscerally thrilling set piece, given the preponderance of CGI, but itís the rare stretch of the film where the stakes feel genuinely high and Jesseís skills as an aviator are extensively highlighted. Unfortunately, the majority of Devotion is earthbound, filling the audience, like some hot-shot pilot, with the itch to take flight.

Score: Cast: Jonathan Majors, Glen Powell, Serinda Swan, Thomas Sadoski, Joseph Cross, Joe Jonas, Daren Kagasoff, Christina Jackson, Spencer Neville Director: J.D. Dillard Screenwriter: Jake Crane, Jonathan Stewart Distributor: Columbia Pictures Running Time: 138 min Rating: PG-13 Year: 2022
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Personal note: Looks like a good flick. I watched the Red Tails and that was
damn good flick as well. If you're black or white - get used to it. Only working
together as a team - can you accomplish your task at hand. In warfare you
must be colorblind - and work together as you've been trained. And maybe
just maybe - you both will come home alive together. I'm not racist at all
I served with some great men of color and foreigner's as well.
-
You're a team - or you're a dead-man walking! Four eyes is better than two -
I learned that a long time ago. And so did many more who came back alive
from wars. Unless you forget who was you're wingman during combat in the
field. You must become colorblind - as he will C.Y.A. - and you will for him -
as well.
-
Your chances of survival are better than loan wolfing. We all only go around
once in life - be accountable - by working together. You both may be fortunate
enough to come home alive - or wounded - but still better than in a box - or
shallow grave on some unknown country until after the war!
-
__________________
Boats

O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

"IN GOD WE TRUST"
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