Whenever I miss a movie premier of a film that I want to see on the big screen, I’ll wait two or three months and then look for that particular movie’s title at the local $1.50 cinema. This week’s special was “Lone Survivor,” so I had my wife pack a couple bottles of water and some M&Ms and we made a cheap date of it.
“Lone Survivor” is based on a book written by Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell, which recounts a mission code named Operation Red Wing. The mission on paper is fairly simple: Marcus (Mark Wahlberg) and his crew, Mike Murphy (Taylor Kitsch), Danny Dietz (Emile Hirsch), and Matt “Axe” Axelson (Ben Foster), are to be dropped into Pakistan by helicopter and then make their way into Afghanistan. Once there, they are to seek out the village harboring Taliban leader Ahmad Shah, and take him out.
Sounds easy enough, but we all know these things don’t always go as planned. Once in Afghanistan the mission is compromised when a goat herder and his children encounter the Seals, just as they are about to eliminate Shah. The question now is whether to eradicate the goat herder and continue the mission, or terminate the operation and evacuate. The codes of conduct spell out that no innocents shall be killed, so the mission is cancelled and the goat herder is released. Needless to say, this was the wrong decision.
Before the boys can be evacuated, the Taliban are raining mortars on them and a horrific firefight ensues. Now the story takes on the “no brother left behind” theme. The following battle is a savage reenactment which may be too much for the more sensitive viewers. The bullets zipping through the forest and the mortar explosions echoing throughout the theater put the audience right in the middle of the firefight.
The movie is further enhanced by actual photos of the Navy Seals, both before and after, the film ends. For those that feel that Afghanistan is not a “real war,” I would suggest watching this movie before endorsing that thought any further.
My Rating: 4 of 5 Firefights.