Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Lone Survivor (2013)

Cast: Mark Wahlberg (as Marcus Luttrell), Taylor Kitsch (as Lietenant Michael P. “Murph” Murphy), Emile Hirsch (as Danny Dietz), Ben Foster (as Matthew “Axe” Axelson), and Eric Bana (as Lieutenant Commander Erik S. Kristensen)

Director: Peter Berg

Synopsis: A four-man Navy SEAL team is assigned to Operation Red Wings in Afghanistan. The mission consists of tracking down Ahmad Shah, a Taliban leader responsible for murdering numerous American servicemen.   After reaching the Hindu Kush region and managing their way through the mountain three herdsmen cross paths with the SEAL team. A decision was made to turn the herdsman loose and to abort the mission. The SEAL team was unable to retreat before being attacked by the Taliban. After a series of wounds and misfortunes the team was running out of options. The last hope was to get to high enough ground in order to transmit the location of the team. The goal was achieved at a high cost; all lives were lost except for one. Luttrell was left as the lone survivor of Operation Red Wings. The next day Luttrell was discovered by a local villager and was cared for as a message was sent to the nearest American airbase to bring awareness of Luttrell’s location. Before aid arrived the Taliban threatened the village on the merit of helping an American. During another battle brought on by the Taliban American forces arrived to return their lone survivor to safety.

Reviewer’s Rating: 4.5/5 Reels

Lone Survivor is based off a mission completed by the Navy SEAL in 2005. The filming took place in New Mexico to set the stage and bring the feeling of an Afghanistan hillside and village. Although not all of the facts are necessarily true, the storyline stays close to the autobiography of Marcus Luttrell. The ending of the film leaves the audience in a daze of uncertainty. Fortunately for the viewers, the final ending to Luttrell’s story is told through a series of screen shots describing the reunion of the two heroes.

Peter Berg directed Lone Survivor in a way that brought the reality of war to life. The effort placed behind each detail of the battle was excruciating yet life-like. The battle scenes seemed to drag on, but it would have only been a fraction of a second that the team actually endured. There is no time to recoup during the ultimate struggle of the men portrayed in this film. Berg incorporated each struggle, frustration, and pain that the men experienced and did not bring light to any of the matters at hand. This movie may be more difficult to watch because it is based on a true story that is relevant to this day and time. Many details of the war that we find ourselves amidst are not revealed to the everyday American society. The story of these men, as hard as it is to bear, is the first real insight that Americans have been provided with for a more proficient understanding.

This film places light on the moral decision the men of this story encountered through the herdsman. Too often the media is filled with poor decisions made by serviceman and never praise for those who dare to endure the pain of the correct path. People are not always rewarded for an accurate action as seen by the fallen men of this story. Through this movie, viewers are able to appreciate and honor the heroic men and their families who dare to excel during great trial.

By: Carly Tillery

{ 3 comments... read them below or Comment }

  1. It is always interesting to see how a director decides to adapt a true story into a film, and a story of sacrifice and warfare at that. I often see a movie in hope of entertainment but with this storyline I hope it to be balanced with honor and respect to the true events and people it effected. It sounds like this film does a good job of that and of bringing awareness to people in the States of what kind of things have happened in recent wartime. Sounds intense, I look forward to seeing it. Thanks for the great review Carly.

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  3. I absolutely loved this movie and I agree with everything you've written. It was so interesting to learn that it was filmed in New Mexico, so thank you for that extra information! I also agree with you regarding the battle scenes: they were filmed with excruciating detail that made it extremely vivd for the viewers to experience, but also stretched on moments in battle that would have only lasted seconds. You're definitely right that the movie was difficult to watch but really helps us understand war and the experiences of military persons better.


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