Lone Survivor depicts four Navy Seals on a reconnaissance mission for Operation Redwing who have their cover blown by straying goats and their goat herders. (I had an opportunity to see a prerelease of Lone Survivor.) They also discover that their target is, in deed, in the village but that the 10 or so Taliban they thought would be there turns out to be over a hundred.
They must choose to shoot, tie-up or release the shepherds. While tempted to take them out or tie them up (which could well lead to their death), they instead release them and high-tail it out of there. Unfortunately, due to the hilly terrain, they can’t communicate with base. They end up in a devastating fire-fight.
This movie is about a band of brothers. Technically adroit warriors put into an impossible situation where many factors collude to make survival nigh on impossible. It is performed by a first-rate cast, well-directed and produced. All elements built up the story well. I highly recommend this film with two caveats: the violence is brutal and ugly. This is no stylized fighting but seriously ugly combat. There is very rough language, although I was pleasantly surprised it wasn’t quite a rife though the movie as I thought it might be. Don’t get me wrong, it’s bad, just not a bad as it could be.
This is a really good movie in itself, 8.5 of 10, but it really brings to light the sacrifice of few for the freedom and safety of many.
****Light Spoiler Alert***
Elements that I loved:
– Great cast
– Not sugar coated
– Really excited to see Ben Foster play a good guy; he plays an intense and very technically adroit killing machine like in 3:10 to Yuma, but on the good side.
– I loved that the Afghani village leader took Marcus in
– I loved seeing the real heroes at the end and, especially how Marcus was reunited with the village leader.
Elements I didn’t love
– Swearing and cussing
– The brutal violence is most likely spot on, so I applaud handling it well and with respect. It doesn’t mean I love it but it was the right thing to do.
There may be temptations to compare this to Act of Valor even though the circumstances are quite difference. I will say this: while I love the authenticity of Act of Valor and liked the film (I own it), this reminds us why we get actors. Lone Survivor is not as stiff and strained as Act of Valor although both are very good.
This story is worth telling and this movie tells it about as well as any movie could. Kudos to all involved and, of course, gratefulness to Michael Murphy, Danny Dietz, Matthew Axelson as well as Marcus Luttrell.