LONE SURVIVOR Movie Review
Movies grounded in war are an interesting conundrum. Sometimes, you tell the story of the war from afar, showcasing the minds making the decision without jumping directly into the battle itself. Some movies provide a good mix of action scenes with white house politicians making fat cat decisions. Then, there are movies like Lone Survivor. Lone Survivor knows the story it wants to tell, and it does it in one of the most realistic and action packed movies that you will see in recent memory. A chorus of flying bullets ripping trees apart works seamlessly with the heated dialogue of the main characters in a movie that was easily one of the most heart pounding war thrillers I have seen in a long time.
Lone Survivor tells the incredible true story of four members of the Operation Red Wings mission, one that was created to find and kill a high ranking member of the Taliban. Four soldiers were sent to the mountains to scope out a Taliban base that was suspected to be housing him, but things took a turn for the worse when a goat herder and his two sons stumble upon the men. The soldiers had two choices: let the three go, and face imminent wrath of the Taliban, or kill them on site. Not wanting to kill kids, they let the three go, leading to a nearly impossible confrontation where four soldiers take on a town of Taliban. What follows is sixty minutes of non stop action that is paralleled by few action movies in recent memory.
The best part of Lone Survivor was the attention to detail throughout the action scenes. Little things like the soldiers releasing the safety of their guns and camera shots through the scope of the soldiers added a sense of realism that engrosses the viewers in the film. Once the action starts, it doesn’t stop, never letting up in scenes that can’t help but leave you on the edge of your seat. In addition, there is a level of graphic nature of the scenes that perfectly toes the line between being incredibly realistic and being too over the top, action-porn like. There are a ton of terrorists that get shot, and our lead characters, (Emile Hirsch, Taylor Kitcsch Mark Wahlberg, and Ben Foster) take a good amount of damage as well. Whether they are being clipped by bullets, or tumbling down the rocky hills (there’s alot of it, and it’s painful at times to watch), the realism of the shots is jaw dropping. It really felt at times that you could simply reach out and touch the characters, as the movie sucked you into this chaotic and frightening scenario.
The action scenes are sandwiched between lead up and aftermath, but the focus of the film is the extensive battle in the middle. Off the top of my head, I can’t remember being more enthralled and fascinated by a war film, specifically in the heat of the battle. There wasn’t a moment where the film dragged, giving a heart pounding movie-going experience that is rivaled by few movies I’ve ever seen. For anyone who loves action movies, and war films in particular, this is an absolute must see.