Haunting, Intense, disconcerting, incredible… terms that don’t begin to describe this narrative. I say narrative, since the movie is a tale of unbelievable proportions depicting “Operation Red Wings” in Afghanistan. One longs to have the same Unbreakable Bonds!
“Lone Survivor” was a bestselling book long before it hit the theatre... the book has become a guide on how individuals within a brotherhood can push themselves beyond physical, and emotional limitations.
Another huge take: MARK WAHLBERG signed on as the “survivor MARCUS LUTRELL” for $13,000 (scale). Everyone associated with the film has been inspired to go beyond what’s possible… to see it’s success!
Superb performances by elite team members are TAYLOR KITSCH (Savages, Friday Night Lights) as Michael Murphy, EMILE HIRSCH (Into the Wild, television’s Bonnie and Clyde) as Danny Dietz and BEN FOSTER (3:10 to Yuma, Kill Your Darlings) as Matthew “Axe” Axelson. ERIC BANA (Star Trek, Hanna, Hulk) joins the core team as Erik Kristensen, their commanding officer in Afghanistan. Great care was taken to embody the actual history… every family represented can see the honor given.
The cast rounds out with ALI SULIMAN (The Kingdom) as Mohammad Gulab, an Afghan villager who protects Luttrell when the Taliban comes to execute him; ALEXANDER LUDWIG (The Hunger Games) as Shane Patton, one of the youngest members of SEAL Team 10; YOUSUF AZAMI (Brothers) as Ahmad Shah, a senior Taliban commander who orchestrates the attack; and SAMMY SHEIK (Transformers: Dark of the Moon) as Taraq, Shah’s vicious second-in-command. All are exquisite in their portrayals!
Lone Survivor is written and directed by PETER BERG. He chronicles every aspect with heart, and mind. We get the opportunity to have a glimpse in the life of an elite Seal team member (all the laughs, incidental emails-color decorating picks, gifts for loved ones, a newbie’s hazing prior to acceptance… their depiction is dead on authentic).
After a brief characterization introduction to the team at base, the team’s mission is launched. The jagged landscape (filmed in New Mexico rather than Afghanistan) reflects the insurmountable peaks of emotions that are about to be climbed. Each mission scene is “edge of your seat”, “biting nails”, …
SEAL team 10 is isolated from help, and surrounded by a much larger force of Taliban ready for war; they are faced with an impossible moral decision, they release herders rather than eliminate them . As they confront unthinkable odds together, the men find reserves of strength and bravery as they stay in the fight to the finish.
The filmmaker extends his respect to the Pashtun villagers who saved Luttrell. Discussing Luttrell’s savior, Berg says: “All the things Marcus was talking about—discipline, a code of honor, dedication
and commitment to a belief system—Gulab had all of these things. You talk about the will of the warrior? That guy is a warrior.” This emphasis gives us universal hope for the world!
While difficult to complete a first viewing, taking potential military and/or existing military members on several occasions has well been worth it… the film doesn’t glorify violence, rather offers a tribute to those that endure for an ideal. It is a must see!!
“No matter how many times I get up and tell this story, or how many people read the book, it’s nothing compared to the number of people who will watch this film. So my job is done. Mission Complete.” —Marcus Luttrell