Release Date: 11/23/22 [Cinemas/Paramount+]
Studio: Sony Pictures Entertainment
"A pair of U.S. Navy fighter pilots risk their lives during the Korean War and become some of the Navy's most celebrated wingmen."
OUR MOVIE REVIEW:
It seems like Top Gun: Maverick just wasn't enough because now we not only have another movie about fighter pilots, but we also have another movie about fighter piglets starring Glen Powell. With Devotion, comes J.D. Dillard in the director's chair tackling the legacy of fighter pilot Jesse Brown, who was the first Black aviator for the U.S. Navy. Jonathan Majors steps in as the historic aviator with Glen Powell supporting him as the pilot’s friend and wingman Tom Hunder. Devotion follows both Hunder and Brown as their friendship through the Korean War grows closer and closer while also serving as a fascinating character study on Brown which is a little more meditative than your average war movie fare.
Dillard’s direction is quite great here - paired with cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt, he’s able to create quite striking images and sequences, and despite being a movie set in the Korean war, Dillard shine’s most in his more inward looking and introspective scenes. Majors plays Brown off in a humble and quiet manner. Dillard is more focus on scenes where Brown is alone and here you get more and more in on what motivates him. Powell’s supporting performance is charming, however, Christina Jackson’s performance as Daisy Brown is the real key to the heart of the film, and the film feels so alive whenever her and Majors share the screen.
The script, I must say, feels weirdly staggered. There doesn’t seem to be that much of a connective flow to Devotion which, in its case, is fine for the most part. However it’s a shame to see Devotion’s more interesting aspects hidden away until its second half. It all feels like it’s setting up things for a bit too long, and honestly, there isn’t much pay off. It isn’t until towards the midpoint Devotion starts to really feel itself and proves itself to be a story worth telling.
Devotion isn’t concerned with being the next war epic, but rather a thought provoking character piece about a monumental aviator and how he was able to push through the obstacles thrown his way throughout his service, at the center is a graceful and powerful performance from Jonathan Majors. The cast surrounding Majors is irresistibly charming, and they all help make the film’s staggered structure thankfully quite breezy.