The story begins where the lives of the principal characters began in a very real sense, at SEAL Team training in San Diego. The short glimpse into what is renowned as the toughest possible military training sets the tone as we meet four very tough men sent on what should have been a fairly easy mission. They are soon confronted with a very serious moral and tactical dilemma.
Soon the four SEALS find themselves on the run being pursued by a very determined group of Taliban. Every element of this film projects a strong sense of reality and believability. The SEALS are tough and committed and use plenty of “F” bombs. The Taliban are likewise clearly committed to their task. Despite amazing physicality and clear commitment and an extremely disastrous rescue attempt the group of four becomes a group of one, a lone survivor.
This is an intense, harsh, deeply moving and exquisitely executed film. My parade ground salute to writer/director Peter Berg and to the entire cast for peerless performances. The film has received two Oscar nominations and I would be stunned if it didn’t win at least one. It is a brilliant film and well worth seeing with just one caution. Children and the highly sensitive should stay away. War is never pretty.
In one rare and beautiful touch of real class the filmmakers end the movie with a visual tribute to the actually men and their families whose lives and in many cases deaths are central to this film. For those people it doesn’t end when the Director hollers “cut” and you walk back to your trailer for a cold beer. To honor those men and their families is a true touch of genuine decency and appropriate respect. Go see this film and it will deeply move you. I have a dear friend T. J. Adams who came scary close to dying while serving with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan. He earned a Purple Heart for his blood. I spent some quality time with the U. S. Marine Corps in Vietnam trying very hard and succeeding in not getting a Purple Heart. T.J. and I agree that this is the best combat centered film in a very long time, possibly ever.