I saw a special screening of the movie Lone Survivor last Thursday. I was really looking forward to seeing this as the trailer really caught my eye and I had some high hopes with Peter Berg directing and an awesome cast to go along with it. After taking a few days to think about it and get the right words together and are some of the things I liked and didn’t like about the film.
Based on the failed June 28, 2005 mission “Operation Red Wings“. Four members of SEAL Team 10 were tasked with the mission to capture or kill notorious Taliban leader Ahmad Shahd.
1. Peter Berg – Peter Berg wrote and directed this movie based off a true story of “Operation Red Wings”. Berg is an unbelievable director and his work on FNL (Friday Night Lights) hasn’t been matched. Berg brought his A game to this film and from start to finish he paints an amazing picture of this brotherhood that is known as our military.
The movie starts off with some great banter among the soldiers and just goes off from there.
He made it believable, these soldiers were shot and broken down by calling down flights of mountains but still fought with the big picture in mind. The detailing of the gun battle is some of the best you will ever see in a movie.
In one scene he built you up and all hope was found for the two soldiers that were left and bam, Berg took it away and made you realize that it’s not as easy as a chopper coming to save the day. It was a gut-wrenching scene that left you on the edge of your seat.
He made you understand the battles of not only what the soldiers go through but what Afganhistan and the Taliban have done as well.
2. The Action – The 40+ minute gun battle was just perfect. It also painted this picture of how inexperienced the younger Taliban soldiers were and not being accurate with their shots and showed the soldiers plucking them off with accuracy and precision.
I also enjoyed how the soldiers fought. They got shot but still kept fighting, took the hits and kept reeling. You don’t always get that with movies and how chilling it is that this being a true story hits even harder knowing that there are man and woman going through this on a daily basis.
Berg never let it get to personable, you knew only bits and pieces about each character and he let the acting and action do the talking throughout the film.
Berg belongs in the Best screenplay/Best director/Best picture for what he brought to the table in this film.
3. Mark Wahlberg – He was unbelievable in this film. Easily one of his best acting jobs he has done in any film. He was smart, funny, witty and when it came time to get down he did. Just the way he clicked with the other guys and how he portrayed such an important and pivotal role in this film was amazing. I would have no problem with him being nominated for Best Actor for this.
4. The Supporting Cast – The rest of this cast was out of this world. It was nice to see Berg use Tyler Klitsch (FNL fame) who has been in a bit of a rut as of late (Battleship, John Carter). Berg brought out the best in him in this film. He has great chemistry with Wahlberg/Foster/Hirsch.
I won’t lie I didn’t know much about Ben Foster prior to this film but I will be looking up some earlier films and checking them out. He played a true bad ass. He took the biggest beating of the four and the way it came off was awesome. Just the way he handled how his character took the gun shots and still kept fighting for his life and fighting for his fellow soldiers was great.
Emile Hirsch I have seen play in multiple films in the past (boy he’s come a long way from when he was in “Girl Next Door”). He was the 4th and last piece of this awesome casting.
Eric Bana (Lt. Cmdr. Erik S. Kristensen) and Alexander Ludwig (Shane Patton) both had small but meaningful roles that also added to the film.
5. The Score – Berg reunited with Explosion in the sky who he used a bunch in Friday Night Lights. EITS were amazing in this and the score for this film was brilliantly put together.
6. The Credits – After a little over hour and half gut wrenching film, they did an amazing montage of the actual soldiers that were involved “Operation Red Wings”. You just watched a movie surrounding the story of what happened and how these guys fought for their lives and seeing the photos of them with their families was surreal.
5 out of 5 stars
Just a chilling and mind-blowing look into what happened “Operation Red Wings”. The acting from the entire cast (Wahlberg Oscar Worthy performance included) combined with Berg’s writing and directing makes this one of the best films of 2013 and quite possibly one of the best films I have ever seen.
Special Thanks goes out to all the men and woman that sacrifice theirs lives to protect me and my family every single day. Thank you for what you do.
Lone Survivor hits theaters limited on December 25th and worldwide January 10th, 2014.