Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Lone Survivor is an Emotional Roller Coaster

Lone Survivor was superbly well-acted and stunningly emotional.  Based on the amazing true story of Operation Red Wings, the film tells the story of a four man NAVY SEAL Recon team sent into the mountains of Afghanistan to track a known high level Taliban commander.  Though the mission starts out smoothly, poor communications equipment and a chance encounter quickly force the SEAL’s to adapt to a more hostile situation.  As the name implies, only a single SEAL manages to escape alive and his story is one of chance, determination, and a lot of luck.  The film defies most military movie conventions by offering up well thought out and realistic battle sequences seeing actors Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, and Ben Foster brilliantly executing their roles in a manner that would make any veteran proud.  With a focus on brotherhood and loyalty, the film focuses masterfully on the ability of such elite Special Forces to keep on going no matter what.  You don’t stop…ever.  They are trained to keep pushing the limits and keep moving forward and that is displayed expertly, particularly by Wahlberg and Foster.  In addition, the film manages to show the US’s dual reasons for the War in Afghanistan particularly well.  The team is there to track a known Taliban leader and enemy of the US but that is only half of the mission.  The Taliban is an extremely violent and oppressive organization abroad but even more so at home.  The film manages to simultaneously make you root for the SEAL’s while also showing the viewer that not all Afghanis are bad people.  Most are honorable, regular people trying to live their lives and resist a violent sect which has given the country a bad reputation.  In this way the movie manages to use this horrific mission which was ultimately a failure to represent a larger picture; to show the viewer not only why we are in this war but why it is worth fighting for.  One of Mark Wahlberg’s best roles in years Lone Survivor is more than just a fantastic military movie, it’s a fantastic film. 

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