Jonathan Majors in the Thrilling Epic of the Korean War – The Hollywood Reporter

If you believe in marketing, then Thoroughnessan inspirational air battle epic set during the Korean War, would love to be seen as Top gun: Corsair.

Throw away the IMAX range, explosive scores, and flying boy swagger, however, and all that’s left is an empty shell of the bland, beaten-up war movies that make Jonathan Majors effectively fend for himself with his poignant lead role of the first black pilot in Navy history.


Key point

Strict standards issue.

Location: Toronto International Film Festival (Special Presentation)
Release date: Friday, November 23 (Sony)
Cast: Jonathan Majors, Glen Powell, Christina Jackson, Thomas Sadoski, Joe Jonas
Manager: JD Dillard
Writer: Jake Crane, Jonathan AH Stewart

Rated PG-13, 2 hours 18 minutes

Based on the book of the same name by Adam Makos, which describes the friendship between the Major’s Jesse Brown and his wingman, Tom Hudner (played by Glen Powell), the story has been directed by JD Dillard (who is himself) son of the second African-American member of the United States Navy’s Blue Angels squadron) with a lot of respect but not enough dramatic depth.

Five years have passed since the end of World War II, and this being 1950, Ensign Brown’s presence in the US Navy’s basic flight training program went completely unnoticed; he repeatedly found himself denying both critical and inadvertently racist remarks from his fellow officers. When he first meets Hudner, a straight-arrow rookie, Brown proceeds to form a respectful long-term friendship if wary of graduating Annapolis.

A man who claimed he had never encountered a plane he could not land, Brown began to doubt his claim when he first climbed aboard a Vought F4U Corsair, the plane This dog has earned the ominous nickname of “The Widow Maker” in part due to its long nose. visibility is obscured and tends to bounce uncontrollably upon landing. But Brown and Hudner soon learned how to tame the gull-winged plane and were assigned to the 32nd Fighter Squadron aboard the USS Leyte before the outbreak of the Korean War.

In adapting the novel Makos, screenwriters Jake Crane and Jonathan AH Stewart seemed content to do away with conventional war pictures with dramatic dialogue that had all the character of a guidebook. . Meanwhile, director Dillard favors sustained dramatic pauses that cause significant tension or motivation. Even a scene from a Cannes vacation, when running into Elizabeth Taylor (Serinda Swan) on the beach, leading to an invitation to party with her at a casino, ends up feeling lifeless and needy. lengthen.

Despite significant obstacles in his way, Major, whose recent credits include Lovecraft Country and The harder it is for them to fallinvests a lot of emotional trust in his character – whether he’s frolicking at home with his devoted wife, Daisy (Christina Jackson), or reflecting on his image in the mirror, pain painfully recounting all the hurtful / racist things that were ever aimed at him .

Powell, who also appeared in Top Gun: Maverickdoesn’t offer much to work with – compares to his character being a virtual con man who has little backstory, and only really finds a purpose when he has to go save his injured mate. me.

In the absence of more complete character development, their fellow flyers, including those played by Joe Jonas and Nick Hargrove, have even less of a chance to make an impression.

Fortunately, cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt (Mank) manages to liven things up with IMAX-worthy aerial images, which really don’t require Chanda Dancy’s over-tuned musical cues to exert the slightest provocation, right even without Lady Gaga in the soundtrack.

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