Based on a true story, 4 US Navy Seals, Marcus Luttrell (Wahlberg), Michael Murphy (Kitsch), Danny Dietz (Hirsch) and Matt ‘Axe ‘ Axelson (Foster) are sent on a mission to kill a top Taliban leader who is responsible for the deaths of many American soldiers/marines. The 4 are highly trained soldiers who are quietly confident of their abilities without the usual swaggering cockiness.
As the title suggests, things do not go smoothly. The 4 are trapped in a gorge behind enemy lines with no communications to the outside world. As they try to move up to higher ground to enable the re-establishment of communication, they come under heavy fire. The gun battle that ensues is all too realistic and in unfamiliar terrain with no backup, there is little hope for these brave men.
The first part of this movie takes place at the barracks and we see bored men just hanging around waiting for their next mission. Lots of male bonding and harassing the newbie kind of thing. Then I hear the music…..so familiar. It’s here that I spot the Director (he always pops up somewhere in his movies) and then it clicks what I’m watching. Friday Night Lights. But with guns and apache helicopters.
During the actual mission, it is very tense and you hope that all goes well, even though you know it does not. When they are discovered and they have to decide their next move, I find it incredulous that a serious consideration is how things look on CNN. These words are actually uttered. I am sure it’s a directive from higher up the food chain but since when did how things look on TV become a consideration for soldiers? I guess about the same time they stopped showing body bags on American TV.
Obviously, the wrong choice is made and our heroes find themselves in a world of trouble. They come under heavy attack and are completely outnumbered. It’s harrowing to watch them cut down while being so brave and literally fighting for their lives. Only one comes out of it all alive.
I dont like war and like most of us, wish it did not have to happen. But I respect any man or woman who is prepared to lay down their lives to fight for the freedom of their country and their ideals. It’s one of the greatest sacrifices.
I thought this movie was good. Not great….just good. The events happened just a few years back and this makes it even more difficult to watch. It’s not past….it’s now. The actors are all accomplished and do their jobs well. It was a little schmaltzy in places but that was the Director……. this movie has his stamp all over it.
The movie ends with a montage of the real men portrayed. It is a moving tribute and reminds us all that behind these stories, there are very real people whose bravery should be remembered and celebrated.
Love Flick xx
Director : Peter Berg
Starring : Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, Yousuf Azami, Eric Bana, Alexander Ludwig, Ali Suliman, Jerry Ferrara
Running Time : 121 minutes
Release Date : 20 February, 2014