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Ellen Sterling sterling

Movies: Lone Survivor

Friday, January 10, 2014

If you don’t believe war is hell, be sure to see Lone Survivor, the true story of four members of Navy SEAL Team 10 who, in 2005, were sent on a mission in Afghanistan to capture or kill Taliban leader Ahmad Shahd.

Erik Kristensen (Eric Bana, left) and Marcus Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg) plan a mission to capture a Taliban leader.
Photo: Greg Peters, Universal Pictures

Based on the book by Marcus Luttell (portrayed in the film by Mark Wahlberg) and Patrick Robinson, with a script by director Peter Berg, the very title is a spoiler, telling us a key plot point. But, even though we know that going in, the action is harrowing and very real.

Wahlberg again proves himself a fine actor. He is versatile (see Ted) and real. We believe him on the screen and he’s always exciting to watch.

Here, under the command of Erik Kristensen (Eric Bana) at Bagram Airfield, he sets out with fellow SEALS Mike Murphy (Taylor Kitsch), Matthew “Axe” Alelson (Ben Foster) and Danny Dietz (Emile Hirsch) into the wild. They know what their mission entails but couldn’t plan for the ambush they met.

Once they come face-to-face with the Taliban they face very tough choices and very real danger. We see the four experiencing horrible physical danger and coping with an environment for which even the most rigorous military training is likely to leave them unprepared.

What makes Lone Survivor different from most war films is its focus. This is not a huge story, but an important one that focuses closely on the human beings involved. We ultimately learn about the four soldiers as individuals and their dedication to our nation. In this world, where every person who wears a military uniform is deemed a hero, it’s refreshing to see real heroes being heroic.

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One Response to “Movies: Lone Survivor”
  1. Vegas Di says:

    The movie was interesting with great special effects, but my reaction was that it was an anti-war movie, and the only hero was an Afghanistan man. Who, after seeing this, would encourage their son to join the U.S. Army, Navy, etc.? The equipment didn’t all work and folks were dying everywhere — yet, I heard someone on the radio say they thought the movie was a recruiting tool for the armed forces. (Not) I heard another radio spot where the mother of one of the soldiers who died said “thank you” to the director “for giving me my son back”. I must have seen a different movie.

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