Directed by: Peter Berg
This is the story of four U.S. Navy SEALS whim in July of 2005 set out for the mountainous Afghanistan-Pakistan border for a reconnaissance mission called Operation Red Wings. It was their task was to document the activity of an al Qaeda leader rumored to be very close to Bin Laden with a small army in a Taliban stronghold. Unfortunately, the mission became compromised and went completely awry, and only one of them, SEAL fire team leader Marcus Luttrell, made it out alive.
Based on The New York Times bestselling true story of heroism, courage and survival, Lone Survivor tells the incredible tale of these four Navy SEALs who were faced with an impossible moral decision, became isolated from help and surrounded by a much larger Taliban force who pursued them through the mountains. As the SEALs confront unthinkable odds together, the four men find reserves of strength and resilience as they stay in the fight to the finish.
While given the film’s title, we essentially already know the outcome, but what the rest of the film reveals is the harrowing experiences these four men suffered as they attempted to carry out their orders. The film begins with the evac of Luttrell (Wahlberg) as he is being attended to by medics. We then flash back to three days earlier where Luttrell and his fellow SEALs are lounging around camp awaiting orders for their next mission. When those orders come, they then galvanize into action and head off to find the Shah (Yousuf Azami) the Taliban leader they were tasked to locate.
As stated, unfortunately, the mission becomes compromised once they are in the mountains above their target their position is discovered by a pair of boys and an old man herding some goats. Unwilling to execute non-combatants, the quartet of SEALS allow the trio to leave and then head out themselves. Soon enough the SEALs are set upon by Taliban soldiers and are forced to fight their way out of the mountains. What follows is a gut-wrenching, realistic reenactment of how Luttrell survived to tell the tale (apparently the film is not nearly as accurate as was the book upon which it was based). Still, it is an excellent film that totally deserves to be seen.
Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing films for some 30 years. During that time, his movie reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web. Subscribe to receive regular articles and movie reviews.