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Now, you might be thinking: “A movie where the ending is spoiled in the title? No thanks!” However, if you enjoy movies like Saving Private Ryan and Black Hawk Down, you’re going to want to watch Lone Survivor, directed by Peter Berg.
The movie is based off of the book Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 written by Marcus Luttrell about his experience in the failed Operation Redwing, and how he came to be the only survivor of the event. It takes place in the mountains of Afghanistan, where SEALs Marcus Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg), Michael P. Murphy (Taylor Kitsch), Danny Dietz (Emile Hirsch), and Matthew Axelson (Ben Foster) are dropped outside of a village in order to kill or capture a leading Taliban member named Ahmad Shah (Yousuf Azami). Their mission starts to go downhill after the team is discovered by three shepherds: one old man, one young man, and a small boy. When faced with the difficult decision of whether or not they should compromise the mission and set them free, or kill them they end up following their rules of engagement and cut them loose. It’s not long until the four men are surrounded by an army of Taliban soldiers, and the rest of the movie follows them as they attempt to fight their way out or die trying.
Lone Survivor starts at a U.S. army base, where the characters are developed through peeks into each of their personal lives. The first half of the movie is littered with jokes, some good and some not so good; it also has its own minefield of F-bombs and other swear words.
The visuals in this movie are stunning, with gorgeous views of the New Mexico mountains that serve as the terrain of Afghanistan. While the filmmakers may easily convince us that New Mexico is actually the Hindu Kush, their estimate on how many bullets it takes to kill a man is far less believable. Although most of the damage the characters take is non-fatal, it’s still enough to make an audience wonder if one is still able to function that well after being wounded so many times, SEAL or not.
After around 45 minutes of character development, the action really starts to kick up, as the movie is filled with gunfire and explosions galore. It was nice that they decided to not completely glorify war, showing many of the hardships they face along the way. Some of the scenes can get you very emotional, but with the title of Lone Survivor, what would you expect?
Overall, Lone Survivor is an great war movie that successfully pays homage to all the lives lost during Operation Redwing. The audience gets all the action and drama that they paid for, even though it may be a little rough around the edges. If you’re looking for a movie to satisfy your need for patriotic gunfire, Lone Survivor would be an excellent choice.