Devotion is a war epic based on the bestselling book of the same name.
Devotion is a Korean War drama about the friendship between the first African-American naval aviator, Jesse Brown, and his wingman, Tom Hudner. It flies into theaters just in time for Thanksgiving. While the shadow of ‘Top Gun: Maverick looms large over any film about naval fighter pilots choosing to step into theaters in 2022, J.D. Dillard directs ‘Devotion’ with less emphasis on extreme action and instead focuses on the nuances of the friendship and other relationships of the featured pilots.
Jonathan Majors and Glen Powell play Brown and Hudner.
They are, respectively, two stars on the rise. Both will continue to shine more brightly heading into 2023. Powell, a Top Gun: Maverick alum, oozes charisma and is such a likable presence. He plays Hudner with an understated confidence – he knows he flies well but doesn’t use that as an excuse to boast. Majors brings so much to the character of Brown, which could have been lost by the performance of a less talented actor. While he’s a symbol to the African-American community, he only wants recognition as the accomplished pilot he is. Seeing Majors’ on-screen range is exhilarating, and filmgoers can’t help but have high hopes for his upcoming roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Creed franchise.
‘Devotion’ takes its time introducing you to these characters, and it’s not until halfway through the film that they see their first bit of actual warfare. This is not necessarily a slight against the film. However, expectations should be managed for those seeking an action-packed war epic. When there is action, it’s thrilling enough. It is worth noting that stunt coordinator Kevin LaRosa put together the aerial sequences. He also worked on ‘Top Gun: Maverick. The script could be more inspired and is significantly bolstered by the actors’ strengths. Unfortunately, if you’ve seen any other war film of the past 30 years, there’s likely not much else you’re going to get out of this film.
I give ‘Devotion’ 3 out of 5 stars. It could have been a forgettable and unoriginal war flick if it wasn’t for the magnetic performances of Jonathan Majors and Glen Powell. It’s the perfect type of film to take your dad to see during the holiday season, but you likely will only get a couple of solid performances from its lead actors and some worthy flight sequences.