Film: Lone Survivor
Director: Peter Berg
Writer: Peter Berg
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch and Emile Hirsch
This film begins with showing the rigorous training that it takes to become a Navy SEAL. They have to answer questions after holding their breath underwater and challenges of strength and endurance. We also see that a lot try out and not many get through.
The film then shifts to a small village in Afghanistan. There is a man who is part of the Taliban; he is played by Yousuf Azami. His second in command is played by Ali Suliman. They seek someone who was thought to be helping the Americans. The village does nothing as he is beheaded on a log.
We then shift to the barracks of the Navy SEALs. The leader of this unit is played by Taylor Kitsch. We learn that he is getting married and that his wife wants him to buy her a horse for her wedding gift. They communicate via e-mail. Kitsch first goes to meet with his friend, Mark Wahlberg. Wahlberg was sleeping and all he can tell him is that the horse is going to be expensive. The rest of the crew is made up of Ben Foster and Emile Hirsch. Foster is married and he chats with his wife. Hirsch and Kitsch have a foot race.
Kitsch ends up winning and we meet a newbie in the barracks, he is played by Alexander Ludwig. He wants to go on the next mission, but since he is still green, they won’t let him until he’s proven himself.
We then meet their commanding officer, played by Eric Bana. They get debriefed on their mission to take out Azami. The crew going is going to be Wahlberg, Kitsch, Hirsch and Foster. They come up with the plan of what they will do and how they will do it. They debrief the rest so they know the code words and what each one means.
They are dropped at their point and begin their hike to the village. They arrive with no issues, other than their radio is having bad reception. They get settled and await the time for them to take out Azami. Bana goes back to the other base and leaves Jerry Ferrara to man the radio and to help keep the mission going.
They have a problem though when some goat herders from the village stumble upon them. They tie them up and have to decide what to do with them. Hirsch and Foster want to kill them while Wahlberg wants them to do the right thing and let them go. Kitsch ends up agreeing with Wahlberg and they let them go. The mission has been compromised and they have to begin their trek back to their base.
The problem they run into is that one of the boys is really angry about being tied up. He and the younger one run back to the village to inform their leader what has happened. The four figured this would happen and already are at the false peak of the mountain. They still cannot get reception and they barely have been able to get through with their satellite phone.
The Taliban soldiers catch up with them and a gunfight ensues. In this first round they are hit by the gunfire. Some take it in the backside, shots to the body and Hirsch actually loses two of his fingers. They fight their way out though and slide down the side of the mountain. The soldiers are relentless though and continue on. They actually slide down more of the mountain, yet they still are under attack.
Who will survive? How much can they take? Will they be able to get in touch with their base to get evacuated? Will any of them survive and if they do, what state will they be in when they are finally found?
I have to say that this film is great first and foremost for its realism. They are shot and they keep going. Part of this is where they are hit and the armor they are wearing. These men went through a lot and this ordeal is terrifying. The story is almost too crazy to be real, but that is what makes this film great. There are some great moments in the film as well. The acting is spectacular; the battle scenes are as well. There is even a heart felt moment at the end as well as during the credits. Director Peter Berg has made another fantastic film.
I don’t have a whole lot to say negative about this film. There were some moments where I wish there would have been subtitles so I would know what the Taliban and Afghani people were saying, but I think part of that was Wahlberg doesn’t understand them, so we do not either. There are points though were we are given subtitles when two individuals are speaking together. There was a small stretch of film that drug on a little for me, but to be honest, this is just me nitpicking. This film was very well done.
I am adding this to the horror film research for the fact that this would be one of the scariest situations to be in. When someone is playing a first person shooter or war game, this is something we all love to do, which is going solo against an army. These men really went through it and most of them lost their lives. It is fun to do in a video game, but this is really what they did. I normally do not include war films in this research, as war is something that is scary to begin with. I am going to include in, despite not being a horror film, because this is one man’s ordeal to survive against all of the odds, which is very horror film like.
I would highly recommend giving this film a viewing. It has a great story, amazing acting and the battle scenes are top notch as well. It is a scary thing to be in an unknown land, enemy territory and it is 4 against an army. It gets even worse when they are bogged down and start to lose their friends. I would definitely say this is a powerful film that needs to be viewed at least once. It is good to honor these men and what they did.
My Rating: 9 out of 10