Saturday, January 25, 2014

Lone Survivor - Movie Review

Starring Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Ben Foster, Emile Hirsch, Eric Bana, Alexander Ludwig, Yousuf Azami, Ali Suliman and Jerry Ferrara.  Directed by Peter Berg.


The advertising keeps quoting Bill Simmons calling it the best war movie since Saving Private Ryan. Simmons is a sports guy, so it just shows how insignificant movie critics have become, at least to the marketing department. I'd say it's just a notch below Kathryn Bigelow's efforts, but it's worthy to compare to Black Hawk Down.

It's based on Marcus Luttrell's best-seller about the failed Operation Red Wings that resulted in the deaths of 19 servicemen. It's a tribute to those men, and it finds a way to be pro-soldier without being pro-war. It's angering to see how hard it is to become a SEAL, and how weird the rules of engagement are in Afghanistan, and how so many more lives would have been saved if they just had better equipment.

The soldiers' bodies take quite a bit of abuse, and from what I've read, they were pretty accurate about it. The comraderie of the four soldiers (Wahlberg, Kitsch, Hirsch, Foster) is engaging, and when the bad stuff starts happening, we still hope somehow they'll escape their fate. Kitsch has shown he might have a future in movies after all.

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