Friday, January 10, 2014

Lone Survivor [USA, 2013]

Nine Things About the Movie Lone Survivor

1. Based on a true story, this is a pretty simple, straightforward, military op movie. It's part drama, part action picture, and totally a commercial for the Navy Seals.

2. That's not to say it's a bad movie. It's interesting, well put together and well told. You just have to know what you're getting. I mean, this isn't "Saving Private Ryan".

3. It's directed by the guy that directed "Friday Night Lights". It has almost the exact same look and feel, especially at the beginning.

4. It's about four Navy Seals who get a dangerous mission in Afghanistan to kill a Taliban leader. Things don't go according to plan.

5. If the title of the movie doesn't give it away, you learn right after the opening credits how the movie ends. That pretty much kills the suspense after the first five minutes.

6. There is no action for the first hour of the movie. We meet the men and witness their bro bonding. We learn about the mission and follow them through the start of it.

7. Once the bullets and blood start to fly (and there is plenty of both), it becomes pretty visceral. There are several scenes that will make you wince or cry out in sympathetic pain.

8. One of the things that bothered me is that the men end up being treated like action heroes, jumping off cliffs with explosions behind them, taking all kinds of bullets and cracked bones, and yet they still manage to spout unintentionally cheesy lines (like "I am the reaper!", and "Tell my wife I died with a full heart" and "You can die for your country - I'm living for mine!")

9. Despite the heavy-handed patriotism and action emphasis, it is one of those rare Hollywood films that actually seems to follow the real story fairly closely.