Agreed, but quite effective | The Journal of Montreal


The trailer of Devotion hinted at a kind of Top Gun camped during the Korean War. It is rather a fairly classic war drama – but still very effective – that director JD Dillard has concocted with this adaptation of the novel of the same title by Adam Makos.

Inspired by a True Story, Devotion chronicles the friendship between two US Navy fighter pilots who served at the start of the Korean War in 1950.

Rhode Island, 1950. Jesse Brown (Jonathan Majors) can claim to be the first African-American to successfully complete the United States Air Force pilot training program. But to get there, the young father had to endure constant bullying and racist comments from his superiors and some of his colleagues.

Undaunted, Jesse managed, despite everything, to make his place among the army’s elite fighter pilots. As war looms in Korea, he befriends his new wingman, Tom Hudner (Glen Powell). After a few months of preparation, the two young pilots will have to team up together for a perilous mission in North Korea.

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Devotion follows the fairly classic model of Hollywood war drama where the exploits of American war heroes are saluted with a good dose of patriotism. Even if he uses all the codes and clichés of the genre, director JD Dillard (Sleight) succeeded in designing high-caliber entertainment that stands out in particular for the effectiveness of its aerial combat scenes, shot with striking realism.

Well put together despite a few lengths here and there, the scenario movingly evokes the fight of a young African-American who tries to carve out a path in a predominantly white environment. Totally inhabited by the character, Jonathan Majors delivers a poignant performance in the guise of Jesse Brown. Glen Powell also stands out in a more restrained and nuanced role than Lieutenant Hangman, whom he recently portrayed in Top Gun: Maverick.

  • Devotion ★★★☆☆

A film by JD Dillard

With Jonathan Majors, Glen Powell and Joe Jonas. On display.



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