Based on Adam Makos’ 2015 book of the same name, Devotion: An Epic Story of Friendship, Sacrifice, and Heroism which recounts the friendship of navy officers Tom Hudner and Jesse Brown during the Korean War, the 2022 American historical war movie Devotion depicts the story of their friendship. Jonathan Stewart and Jake Crane wrote the script, which J. D. Dillard produced.
On September 12, 2022, Devotion had its IMAX premiere at the Ontario Place Cinesphere. On November 23, 2022, the movie was made available to the general public in the US. Critics gave it largely favorable reviews.
Glen Powell and Jonathan Majors play the lead roles of Hudner and Brown, respectively, with Thomas Sadoski, Joe Jonas, Christina Jackson, Nick Hargrove, Daren Kagasoff, and Spencer Neville serving as the movie’s supporting actors.
Christina Jackson as The Night House, Outsiders, Deception, Joe Jonas as Camp Rock, Grease Live!, Glen Powell as Top Gun: Maverick, Hidden Figures, Lovecraft Country, Jonathan Majors as Loki, When We Rise, Nick Hargrove as Counterpart, Charmed, Spencer Neville as Ozark, Tunde, and Thomas Sadoski as Newsroom, John Wick, Life in Pieces appear in the movie.
Jonathan A. H. Stewart and Jake Crane (Under) collaborated on the script for the movie in The Axmann Conspiracy, Clean. J.D. Dillard is in charge of directing it (Sleight, Sweetheart). Molly Smith, J.D. Dillard, Thad Luckinbill, Trent Luckinbill, and Rachel Smith joined as executive producers, as did Glen Powell.
For a variety of reasons, if it weren’t for Adam Makos’ novelization, Glen Powell’s tenacity, and J.D. Dillard’s directing, the Hudner and Brown narrative would have gone unnoticed by the general public.
Devotion Movie: Review
The film “Devotion,” which is based on the same-named book, tells the story of two valiant American Navy fighter pilots who served in the Korean War in 1950 and how they rose to become the most renowned wingmen in the history of the American Army.
To serve the United States in the Korean War, Brown encountered racism, intolerance, and severe personal adversity, as described in Adam Makos’ book. Throughout their shared enrollment, Tom Hudner developed into Jesse Brown’s ally, buddy, and fictitious brother.
Together, the two navy officers received numerous more honors and medals, including the Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, and Air Medal. Hudner is noteworthy because he’s the only military pilot to receive a Special award throughout the Korean War.
The extent of their combat exploits is attested to by their accolades and the numerous accounts of their service. A previously unreported tale of generosity, bravery, activism, most importantly, brotherhood will be presented in the upcoming movie Devotion.
Director J.D. Dillard’s epic war drama “Devotion” establishes itself from the first scene that it is a story about its protagonists as individuals rather than a mindless science fiction thriller that embraces firearms and bloodshed.
A bunch of young US Navy fighter pilots are introduced to us without any difficulty. They are still in the training process, earning their stripes, but this comfort won’t last for very long. They must shortly belt up and begin flying towards the enemy zone because it is 1950.
However, before that occurs, the team’s two most glaringly different squadrons forge an uncommon friendship that transcends their self-belief, origin, color, and background. While his colleague, naval helicopter pilot Lt.
Tom Hudner, as Glen Powell, incredibly self-assured and the US Navy’s most dependable pilot, has aced his effectiveness in training. Ensign Jesse Brown, as Jonathan Majors, becomes America’s first Black pilot to receive his wings in the Naval education program.
Although Brown is initially hesitant to put his trust in Hudner, it is his earnest demeanor and sincere concern that convince him to do so. The non-fiction plot’s inherent nature and the screenplay’s drafting cause the movie to lag frequently in pacing. Consequently, it appears drawn out and a little monotonous.
It does, however, aid in setting the scene and capturing the audience’s interest in the tale of the film’s two heroes. Majors and Powell particularly shine in their roles, but the performances as a whole are excellent. As Daisy, Brown’s adoring and dependable wife, Christina Jackson offers strong support.
In a way that makes one question how the Western civilization dealt with a range of both progressive and equally backward customs as early as 1950, the undercurrent of racism is brilliantly conveyed on screen. We learn about a less well-known period of history in the war movie “Devotion.”
Instead of making a valiant effort to turn it into a larger-than-life war movie devoid of a throbbing heart, it demonstrates heroism by being true to its actors and their tales. His tight package of a swaggering walk conceals the weight on his large shoulders and the tightness surrounding his face.
The slurs Brown yells at himself come from a small book in which he records every insult that has ever been directed at him. Brown is an airplane with many unseen wounds. Early in his career, as one of the first African Americans to fly for the Navy, Brown came under attack from his segregationist “comrades,” who also made repeated attempts on his life.
The assaults that Brown experienced are not visible to us. Dillard is too intelligent to pursue such easy pickings. Instead, Majors’ skilled physical performance allows us to see the effects on Brown’s mental state.
Hudner does not appear to be using physical abuse against Black people in this image to advance their civil rights or gain Hudner’s respect as a human being. Brown’s protest is his very existence. His sit-in is on the plane.
“Devotion,” a two-and-a-half-hour movie that passes by in an instant, is sort of Dillard’s graduation from his small-scale genre film to a grandiose onslaught. Dillard skillfully creates a harmony between the numerous issues presented by anti-racism movies and the courage of Brown without using sentimental or craven tactics.
The Historical Accuracy of the Movie
Realistic prop realism and historical authenticity were both highly valued during the film’s production. J. D. Dillard discussed his desire to capture as much aerial video as he could while still keeping a high standard of historical accuracy in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.
Filming on location was difficult since it was hard to find operational period-appropriate planes. Although the film is set in the Pacific and Korean war theatres, Georgia served as the location for a significant portion of the filming.
With some inventive filmmaking, the southern terrain served as other locations, including China, Korea, and Rhode Island. Even in the instances that Devotion was recorded “on location,” the actual locales were frequently imaginative duplicates of a fictional environment.
As an illustration, the China-Korea border was portrayed in the movie by mountains in Washington State. Despite the challenges, J.D. Dillard has shown a commitment to maintaining the most historical accuracy. This endeavor is not just for him because of his talent as a filmmaker and producer.
Similar to the main character Jesse Brown in the movie, Dillard’s father was an African-American naval aviator. Dillard described how the filmmaker’s love of combat stories was carried on by his father in an appearance with Deadline.
Devotion Movie: Production
On Glen Powell’s advice, Black Label Media was designated for assignment of the copyright to Devotion in March 2018, with Powell agreeing to serve as producer and commit to the role of Tom Hudner. Jonathan Majors had been chosen to play J. D. Dillard, and Jesse Brown was slated to helm the film, it was revealed in December 2019.
It was revealed in September 2020 that STXinternational would handle international sales while Sony Pictures would handle distribution in the United States. Elizabeth Taylor was portrayed by Serinda Swan beginning in February 2021.
As the son of a navy pilot, Dillard had a strong connection to the topic and drew on his father’s accounts of his experiences as the only black guy in a predominately white aviation world. He says in an appearance with Deadline Hollywood that “Both professionally and emotionally, they both grappled with isolation, and there are so many parts there that I believe ultimately just created the DNA of the film.”
Along with visiting the set, Dillard’s father assisted the film’s technical team. The end credits include a distinct card honoring his participation in the movie. Before Thomas J. Hudner Jr. passed away in 2017, Powell, who had reviewed Adam Makos’ book when this was initially published in 2015, took that to Molly Smith from Black Label to acquire it. The pictures and souvenirs of Jesse Brown that were scattered about the house affected him, and he said, “I realized what weight it weighed on him.