There is nothing better than putting out the barbecue a beautiful spring day. and throw on some sausages, hamburgers or meat slices. To gather your family for a wonderful barbecue dinner, with some cold drinks and some good laughs. But it is important to make sure you do the barbecue without any risks, because if the ground is dry, there is a risk that a fire could start. 2 years ago we had one summer where the government ( here in Sweden ) decided that it was forbidden for anyone to barbecue, because it was the hottest summer in many years. You could even get fined if they discovered that you were having a barbecue. I have seen one big fire happen that i remember, that took place in the late 90´s when my grandfather had a fire close to his cabin, that could have ended bad. Luckily we managed to put it out, and the biggest fire damage was a mountain area close to the cabin, that burned down all the bushes, and some smaller trees. The forest area there have returned since then and new trees have grown , so you can still find burned ashes in the area, if you look around the mountain. Speaking about fires, since i mentioned the 90´s, there is a film that i still think is one of the best firefighter films made back in 1991, and that is of course director Ron Howards epic drama Backdraft. This film may be almost 30 years old, but still looks great even today with a really good cast, majestic fire scenes and manage to capture the dangers of being a firefighter. One important detail about Backdraft, is that you also get to see how important it is to have a steady friendship in this dangerous work. No matter what happens, you have to help each other, no matter what it takes. I recently got a chance to see a Chinese film known as The Bravest on VOD, that turned out to be a huge hit at the Chinese box office last year, pulling in 244 million US dollars in ticket sales. A film about firefighters in China, could this be better than i expected, or should you skip The Bravest and watch Backdraft instead ?
Captain Jiang Liwei ( Xiaoming Huang ) is a very respected firefighter, who will do anything to make sure that no one will be harmed. At a location of a burning building, he and his team manage to rescue a little girl. But as they think the fire has been finished, one of the men, is suddenly killed with a room full of gas tanks. The fire department see that Jiang should have been in control over this situation, as one of their men died. He is forced to leave his job. Struggling after the death of his friend, Jiang tries to deal with situation with the help of his wife and son. When a really big oil spill cause chaos, the fires and explosions are so enormous that they will need every firefighter to go in to help. Jiang is also contacted, and of course he is willing to do what he can. The biggest problem is that if this fire spreads further, the city may be in bigger danger than they expected.
Knowing that this film is based on real life events of the Xingang Port oil Spill, makes this film feel a bit more interesting. Because when you see a film based on a oil spill disaster, you know that this could happen anywhere in this world. In this case you can clearly see that this disaster caused chaos, not only to the fire fighters, but also to everyone who worked hard to make sure the city is safe. I have to say i am impressed by the fire scenes in this film, It feels like you are at the location, and feel the impact of the fire explosions. Especially when the biggest explosions strike, i can´t remember the last time i saw a firefighter film that did this so well, it must have been Backdraft. But that´s not the only thing positive about The Bravest. This film also manage to tell the story from a family perspective, how important it is to do the best you can in a very serious situation. When we get into the characters, there are some names i feel that should be mentioned. Let´s begin with lead actor Xiaoming Huang ( who some of you might remember from Ip Man 2 ), who plays the character Jiang. You can clearly see him suffer, after he is asked to leave his job as a firefighter. The job that he loved more than anything, and the passion he have for being a firefighter. Xiaoming manage to balance his character in a realistic way, who is struggling with his personal issues and trying to stay strong for his family. Hou Yong ( that you might recognize from the epic chinese film The Battle Of Red Cliff ) plays the character Wu Chenguang, who is the fire chief. He is actually great in this role, and clearly goes into his character with full power. There are some more actors who does a great job, especially in the action scenes. It has been a long time since i have seen a good action film with firefighters, and The Bravest may be the best in many years. Everything is not great about this film, but considering that this film does make an impact of how hard this job is, that is a positive sign. Director Tony Chan have proved that you can do a good action drama with firefighters, and he manage to balance this well in The Bravest. I guarantee, after watching this film, you will be more careful about handling fire.