Lone Survivor (2013)
There’s two ways to look at this movie. On the one hand it is very much a very “Rah, Rah, Go Team Murica!” piece of patriotic fluff, which the same could be said for American Sniper, which I also recently reviewed. On the other hand it is a very well made, tense and gripping war story that pays tribute to some real life heroes who absolutely deserve remembrance. For those who are turned off by the first point, the movie makes it very clear what it is going to be from the outset so I really cannot knock any points off for that. Movies like this, and the aforementioned American Sniper take the patriotic, let’s be nice and call it “simplicity” of the 1950s era of war movies and combine it with the graphic realism of the Vietnam era movies that introduced such carnage to the big screen. Originally it was thought that showing such brutality was itself enough to make an anti-war movie, but those that thought that underestimated the average America movie goer’s tolerance for blood and mayhem. This movie was crafted as a big budget Hollywood tribute to a group of soldiers who fought in a horrific battle. Of course scores of Afghani’s are also mowed down, but other than the lead Big Bad we don’t really learn much about their story here. The story is basically just a straight two hour gun battle between four stranded American soldiers in the Mountains of Afghanistan against what seems to be a couple hundred Taliban fighters. I must confess my favorite moment during this film was watching it with my wife, who cannot bare to see harm come to any character she likes in a film, when she asked with more than a little panic in her voice, “Do you think any of those guys are going to be killed?” to which I (more snarkily than I really should have) pointed out the title of the movie.