Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Lone Survivor (2013)

Directed by: Peter Berg
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch
Running Time: 121 Minutes

Politics aside, Lone Survivor was a war movie based on the Red Wings mission of 2005 which entailed going after the Taliban leader Shah who was responsible for killing many soldiers of the U.S. armed forces. One of the Navy SEALs, Marcus Luttrell (portrayed in this film by "Marky-Mark" Wahlberg) was the only survivor and this was his story.

I'm not sure why I was so anxious to see this movie. It surely wasn't the actors or even the direction of the film. I grew up in a military family, so the whole idea of glorifying war didn't impress me.

The mission was only to hunt down Shah and call in re-enforcements when the time comes. Everything changes when they take prisoner of three locals and must make the decision to let them go, leave them tied up, or kill them on the spot. What would you do? All this happens within thirty minutes of the title scene, and when the proverbial shit hits the fan. One would think a properly trained soldier would know not to let witnesses go until your back up has arrived. As you can by now guess, they let them go under the impression that they'd be safe because its 'only an old man and two kids.' Anyway, at least one of them weren't so innocent and as we could see coming, the group of American soldiers are soon surrounded by Taliban forces.

Exaggeration was also used profusely in this movie, to show the bravery of American soldiers most likely. Throughout the gun fights, we see our team taking bullets and shrapnel left and right without much difference to their later actions. What the heck were the Taliban soldiers shooting, rubber bullets? They also seemed immortal to jumping off cliffs, tumbling down a hundred feet or more, landing head first on sharp rocks below them. When their back up re-enforcements showed up, unprotected and apparently not ready for duty as they stand on the helicopter surrounded by the Taliban forces rather than quickly getting off and fighting upon arrival.

There's an abundance of slow-mode shots, clear close-ups of hits, all perfect to make you cringe at what the four soldiers are going through. As soon as Marcus finds himself alone, he finds his way to a friendly Afghanistan village filled with people who doesn't like the Taliban forces any more than the American soldiers. This gives him the opportunity to track down his re-enforcements, and by re-enforcements I mean Blackhawk and Apache helicopters both which were supposed to show up sooner.

All that aside, this was a story of honor, bravery, and courage for not only the Navy SEALs but also the Afghanistan allies alike. It is a movie I would recommend for at least one viewing.

= Rental!
Lone Survivor (2013) on IMDb

1 comment:

  1. Good review Mike. It was a pretty grueling movie to watch, even if you could get past some of the politics Berg was throwing in there. Somewhat subtly, but still noticeable.


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