Sometimes a film tackles such an eminently worthy subject that good intentions are almost enough; the movie needs merely to tell its story for an audience to be moved. But if mishandled, noble material can result in something that feels stiff and parched, the electricity drained from the proceedings in the name of showing proper reverence.
How else to explain Devotion, a sturdy, well-meaning Korean War drama featuring solid aerial combat sequences and somber reflections on racism that's, nonetheless, frustratingly lethargic? Based on Adam Makos' nonfiction book about the friendship between two U.S. fighter pilots—one of them the Navy's first Black aviator—the film even throws in elements of the male weepie for good measure. But although one couldn't ask for two brighter young stars in Jonathan Majors and Glen Powell, the movie never rises above the merely dutiful. Trying to honor a significant but unheralded figure of the "Forgotten War," Devotion is, ironically, rather unmemorable itself.