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Movie Review: "Lone Survivor"
self | 1/20/2014 | LS

Posted on 01/20/2014 1:37:20 PM PST by LS

If you have read the book Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell and Patrick Robinson, you might come to the film prepared to see at least an hour's worth of SEAL training. After all, the book devotes considerable space to the rigor of the preparation, but this is all handled in the opening credits in the movie "Lone Survivor." (I have used Lone Survivor in my classes as a required reading since it came out, and it is now good to have a movie version.)

The movie is faithful to the book in most cases, although you'd swear that they threw in a couple of extra mountain slopes for the Redwing team to roll down (the extras did these stunts themselves, and did not use dummies. One stunt man suffered several broken ribs and other injuries.) Certainly you cringe every time the SEALs begin another series of tumbles down the rocky, wooded slopes.

For anyone who doesn't know the story, Marcus Luttrell, his Lieutenant Mike Murphy, Danny Dietz, and Matt Axelson are heli-dropped into Taliban country with the mission to hike over five miles to a Taliban compound and take out the leader known as Shah. Shah is first depicted beheading a local Afghan tribesman whom he thinks betrayed him. So the viewer knows what's in store for any captured American. While on the mountain making their approach to the compound, Luttrell's team is stumbled upon (literally) by three Afghan goat herders. The SEALs secure the man and his two sons (one of whom is clearly a Taliban affiliate), then have a heated argument about what to do with them. Luttrell insists that if they kill the goat herders, they will end up on CNN and eventually in Leavenworth. Moreover, he and Murphy have moral pangs about executing unarmed boys. Ultimately Murphy orders the three set loose, knowing they will immediately tell Shah and his pals there are Americans on the hill.

Part of the team's dilemma is that they have lost radio communications for an extract, and to get the sat phone working need to be higher on the mountain. But once they get near the higher peak, they come to a dead end, short of the top and unable to call for help. When the Taliban approach, all they can do is fight---and outnumbered a good 25:1 they take their toll on the enemy, but one at a time the team members die until Murphy sacrifices himself to get the sat phone to a high enough location to radio for help. Luttrell is saved only by falling down still more mountainside and eventually hiding in a rock outcropping. It is ironic that this frogman only truly gets to some safety when he reaches . . . water. While immersing himself in a stream, Luttrell (badly injured and wounded) is protected by a group of Pashtun villagers. Over the next 24 hours they risk their lives to protect him against the Taliban---whom they also despise.

Having driven off Shah once, though, the Pashtun villagers brace for his return with more men. But meanwhile a messenger has been sent to the nearest American base with a note from Luttrell giving coordinates of the village. The (air) cavalry arrives just in the nick of time, and PC or not, you want to cheer when the gunships finally unload on the Taliban creeps.

There are other twists and turns---Redwing reinforcements on Chinooks arrive but Luttrell's joy turns to horror as the lead Chinook takes an rpg right into the inside of the helo and explodes, killing still more of Luttrell's fellow warriors.

Wahlberg does a credible job as Luttrell, except that he is too small. Marcus Luttrell is a giant of a man, and often remarked in his book that it penalized him when climbing. Other cast members are solid. There is no need for wild special effects, and the music isn't particularly stirring.

What IS compelling is the story---and the miracle--of Luttrell's rescue. Murphy's words to him, "As long as you're alive, you're always in the fight," should become the slogan of American patriots everywhere, who might be tempted to give up in this dark period. But the most poignant scenes come at the end, when all the members of Redwing are shown in photos.

Two cautions for viewers who might think of taking youngsters: The film depicts combat; it is bloody and brutal. And it is filled with foul language---SEALs, after all, aren't the Little Sisters of the Poor.

Wahlberg, who has been the face of the movie and greatly publicized it, is an executive producer, and he will be very handsomely rewarded at the box office. While today was a holiday, nevertheless the 1:00 show was over 2/3 filled. Wahlberg has done a great service to the SEALs, to Luttrell, and to America.


TOPICS: Music/Entertainment; TV/Movies
KEYWORDS: afghanistan; lonesurvivor; seals

1 posted on 01/20/2014 1:37:20 PM PST by LS
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To: LS

I saw Lone Survivor over the weekend with my wife...loved every moment of the movie and the intensity of some of the scenes was almost too much...loved it!


2 posted on 01/20/2014 1:41:24 PM PST by halo66
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To: LS

Liked the movie but the “extra falls” and dramatic ending were pure Hollywood. I would have been more satisfied had they stuck to the book.


3 posted on 01/20/2014 1:41:33 PM PST by Boomer One
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To: LS

“As long as you’re alive, you’re always in the fight.”

Good tagline.


4 posted on 01/20/2014 1:41:47 PM PST by NEMDF
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To: LS
I did not read the book. I saw the movie. As much as I dislike watching American soldiers die, the film was moving. It emphasized the bond that forms in the military.

The one small issue I had was when the CH-47 got blown up by the RPG. You have the Colonel standing at the back of a hovering chopper with the rear open on a very hot LZ and he's asking the rookie SEAL, "Are you ready?! Are you good?!"

Like they're gonna have a conversation about how ready they are waiting to rappel out of the damn chopper! I know it's a VERY small issue, but it just annoyed me to no end.

5 posted on 01/20/2014 1:44:42 PM PST by thefactor (yes, as a matter of fact, i DID only read the excerpt)
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To: Boomer One

I agree. They purely went Hollywood on the end. I’ m surprised Luttrell went along with the ending.


6 posted on 01/20/2014 1:46:20 PM PST by Dr. Ursus
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To: LS; DevSix; ASA Vet; Cap Huff

Never forget those who never came back..


7 posted on 01/20/2014 1:50:32 PM PST by Dog (Founding member of the Osama Bin Laden was alive the whole time club..)
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To: LS
Ultimately Murphy orders the three set loose, knowing they will immediately tell Shah and his pals there are Americans on the hill.

I never understood why they did not simply zip tie and gag the three, given that a search party would have been sent out to look for them after some number of hours. By releasing them right away, they brought upon themselves a Taliban attack many hours earlier than would have otherwise have occurred. In that time span, they could have been evac'd out of the area. While getting out, they could have marked the area where the goat herders were tied up with WP.

8 posted on 01/20/2014 1:51:10 PM PST by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: Zhang Fei

They said they would have been eaten by wolves. I don’t understand why they didn’t tie the man and the rebel boy and send the younger one down. It would have at least bought them another 1/2 hour.


9 posted on 01/20/2014 1:53:53 PM PST by LS ('Castles made of sand, fall in the sea . . . eventually.' Hendrix)
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To: LS
They said they would have been eaten by wolves. I don’t understand why they didn’t tie the man and the rebel boy and send the younger one down. It would have at least bought them another 1/2 hour.

I consider it highly unlikely that wolves would prefer humans to the goats that these three were herding. Wolves are generally afraid of humans, and for good reason - the ones that aren't end up extinct after wolf-human encounters. Besides, there are limits to how considerate you can be of foreign civilians. They weren't a SWAT team back home. Every Afghan civilian in that region was a potential hostile, and that went double for the males.

10 posted on 01/20/2014 1:58:28 PM PST by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: LS

They could also have tied them up and suspended them from trees. Wolves can’t climb trees.


11 posted on 01/20/2014 2:00:05 PM PST by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: Zhang Fei

Just telling you what Luttrell said in his book.


12 posted on 01/20/2014 2:04:46 PM PST by LS ('Castles made of sand, fall in the sea . . . eventually.' Hendrix)
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To: LS

I may check the movie out later this year. My question right now is, if you saw the movie, do you think any security secrets were inappropriately made public? I heard the details of Seal Training were shown. Was anything shown about the way our Seals train, the sequences, the intensities, the immediate motivational goals, that may give our enemies an unfortunate edge? I hope not. I hope the producers did due diligence, and did not overtalk in an effort to scare and impress the average civilian viewer.


13 posted on 01/20/2014 2:04:58 PM PST by lee martell
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To: LS

Badly injured AND wounded? Sounds series ;^)


14 posted on 01/20/2014 2:05:35 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (The War on Drugs has been used as an excuse to steal your rights. Support an end to the WOD now.)
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To: LS

I looked at it as a descriptive movie about a true event. There was a lot of “Hollywood” in it, but that’s why they call it Hollywood. I know Seals are tough, but the laws of Physics still apply to even Seals. Some of the falls would not be survivable and the RPG’s hit waaay too close to survive. We like to look at it as a patriotic endeavor but Hollywood looks at it as “money”. I have no problem with that. I would rather have more of this than more zombies and homo’s on drugs crying about mistreatment. They know the formula works, but they would rather put out some other puke than salute the flag. Even Disney has given over to the dark side, IMO.


15 posted on 01/20/2014 2:05:59 PM PST by chuckles
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To: LS
my only thought after the movie was.... if only a woman had been on the team.... yeah that would have been a force multiplier. /sarc /pukemygutsout /pcdestructionofthemilitary

 photo d1c465a8-1.jpg

16 posted on 01/20/2014 2:07:26 PM PST by Dick Vomer (democrats are like flies, whatever they don't eat they sh#t on.)
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To: LS
Just telling you what Luttrell said in his book.

Interesting. I saw the movie but did not read the book. Sounds like the script followed the book somewhat closely.

17 posted on 01/20/2014 2:12:40 PM PST by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: Zhang Fei
Wolves can’t climb trees.

What about werewolves? you think of that? they can climb trees

i hear they are all over that country

18 posted on 01/20/2014 2:13:01 PM PST by beebuster2000
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To: beebuster2000
What about werewolves? you think of that? they can climb trees i hear they are all over that country

Weirdly enough, snow leopards would have been a concern, although they're close to extinct.

19 posted on 01/20/2014 2:20:56 PM PST by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: halo66
My wife and I were going to see it this year, but it was sold out most times, we did go see Saving Mr. Banks (Excellent), Her (weird), American Hustle (good), 12 years a slave (good). Hopefully we can see Jack Ryan and Lone Survivor next weekend. We like going to the movies. I know that is sacrilege around here but who cares.
20 posted on 01/20/2014 2:25:19 PM PST by napscoordinator ( Santorum-Bachmann 2016 for the future of the country!)
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To: beebuster2000

At that time, the werewolves “were” not there to climb the trees.


21 posted on 01/20/2014 2:26:25 PM PST by Redcitizen (Never bring a tank to a Chuck Norris fight.)
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To: napscoordinator

year? I meant weekend.


22 posted on 01/20/2014 2:27:17 PM PST by napscoordinator ( Santorum-Bachmann 2016 for the future of the country!)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

LOL. And hugh. I meant to say “badly injured by the fall and wounded from gunshots and RPGs” but went for short form.


23 posted on 01/20/2014 2:35:08 PM PST by LS ('Castles made of sand, fall in the sea . . . eventually.' Hendrix)
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To: LS
Uplifting and inspiring

Demoralizing

Hagel Promises More Military Pay, Benefits Cuts

24 posted on 01/20/2014 2:36:47 PM PST by SkyPilot
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To: lee martell

No, I don’t think ANY security issues were revealed, unless you want to cite the common sense repositioning of helos miles away from the firefight zones. No, the training was covered in less than 5 minutes of credits, nothing about the sequencing and nothing that I thought would reveal anything to our enemies except that SEALS are badasses.


25 posted on 01/20/2014 2:37:01 PM PST by LS ('Castles made of sand, fall in the sea . . . eventually.' Hendrix)
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To: LS
No, I don’t think ANY security issues were revealed, unless you want to cite the common sense repositioning of helos miles away from the firefight zones. No, the training was covered in less than 5 minutes of credits, nothing about the sequencing and nothing that I thought would reveal anything to our enemies except that SEALS are badasses.

I don't understand the mystique. These guys are superb physical specimens, not in terms of having bodybuilder physiques, but in terms of being equipped to endure the difficulties of hiking through rugged terrain and dealing with physical hazards. But they're men, and without adequate fire support they're just highly-trained light infantry. Using fire support from USAF, USN and USMC aircraft, the Northern Alliances routed the Taliban. There ain't no magic involved. Air support was the hammer and the the Northern Alliance was the anvil. These SEALs took a pounding because they were outnumbered, lacked air support, and had only what they could carry as weaponry.

26 posted on 01/20/2014 2:51:16 PM PST by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: LS

That’s good news. I would feel better about seeing this movie and supporting it with my dollars, if, as you say, no high security has been breached. There was probably some technical adviser on the set, ready to say “NO!, that (extreme disclosure) is wrong and it’s not gonna work”, loud enough for the directors to hear him.


27 posted on 01/20/2014 3:06:36 PM PST by lee martell
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To: napscoordinator

” I know that is sacrilege around here but who cares. “

Good for you. I go every week and love it.

I saw “Lone Survivor” today. Terrific.

We’re going to see “Nebraska” next week.

.


28 posted on 01/20/2014 3:12:48 PM PST by Mears
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To: LS

Maybe Walberg is picking up where Mel Gibson became distracted with personal problems and stopped making high ideal movies. Some actors, act to earn a living, other actors learn how to create the entire vehicle, from story board to the night of premiere. Ronnie Howard is that way. Ronnie is one of the few child actors who learned the business and all it’s components. I forgive Ronnie for being a lib, because at least he doesn’t seem to be a hateful lib, or one bent on destroying all pillars of society as does Rob Reiner, aka Meathead. Rob pals around with the ACLU!


29 posted on 01/20/2014 3:13:53 PM PST by lee martell
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To: Zhang Fei
These SEALs took a pounding because they were outnumbered, lacked air support, and had only what they could carry as weaponry.

Yes, this is what fighting an earlier version of the Taliban was like without air support

http://www.tribalanalysiscenter.com/PDF-External/Umbeyla.pdf

30 posted on 01/20/2014 4:27:43 PM PST by robowombat
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To: LS

There have been a handful of close calls and brushes, but no Navy SEAL since the beginning in ‘62 has ever been captured alive.


31 posted on 01/20/2014 4:31:30 PM PST by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: Zhang Fei

Irony of ironies, the op-tempo for specops troops the past decade has been so high, that this platoon was a group of SDV guys from Hawaii, trained for mini-sub ops locking out of dry-deck shelters clamped upon boomers and fast attack subs. About as far from the Hindu Kush as you can get, and still be a specops warrior.


32 posted on 01/20/2014 4:33:32 PM PST by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: napscoordinator

Have a look before you go see Jack Ryan. The bad guys in that movie are “right wing Christians” from Russia.

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014/01/the-follies-of-jack-ryan-another-hollywood-thriller-about-christian-terrorists-in-new-york-city/


33 posted on 01/20/2014 4:42:19 PM PST by Ironfocus
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To: robowombat

ought to read malakand expedition by winston churchill about his experience fighting the talaban of his day in 1890’s. same place, same deal, same #$@% just a different bag. nothing changed in 100 years

http://www.amazon.com/Malakand-MALAKAND-Churchill-Mar-18-10-Paperback/dp/B007SLUO6Y/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1390269052&sr=1-7&keywords=winston+churchill+books+mar


34 posted on 01/20/2014 5:51:59 PM PST by beebuster2000
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To: LS

Watched it on Saturday in CT. Sold out show again. Pretty good for the second week. The silent majority votes with their wallet.


35 posted on 01/20/2014 5:58:24 PM PST by grayhog
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To: napscoordinator

Thanks for your ratings of some of the other movies out...I was a little apprehensive to see some of them. My next movie will be Jack Ryan. As for my wife with Lone Survivor, she closed her eyes during some of the more hard to watch moments but she really enjoyed it.


36 posted on 01/20/2014 6:07:45 PM PST by halo66
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To: LS

I read the book when it came out and couldn’t appreciate the tumbling down the mountain until I saw it in the movie.

Good review.


37 posted on 01/20/2014 6:47:10 PM PST by VA Voter
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To: lee martell

Wahlberg is a good actor, but he’ll never be Daniel Day Lewis. Rather, I think his calling is as a producer-—not just this but he also was the exec producer of “Entourage” -—a much lighter and funnier Breaking Bad quality show.


38 posted on 01/20/2014 9:03:20 PM PST by LS ('Castles made of sand, fall in the sea . . . eventually.' Hendrix)
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To: LS

I was kind of surprised that a CH-47 full of SEALs was shot down. My wife asked if that was the SEAL team 6 chopper that went down (she is reading the book “Betrayal”)

I couldn’t answer her for sure because I had not heard of another SEAL chopper being shot down (although this was long before the ST-6 chopper shootdown)

Was this shootdown covered up as well?


39 posted on 01/21/2014 7:19:08 AM PST by hattend (Firearms and ammunition...the only growing industries under the Obama regime.)
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To: hattend

No, that one came afterward.


40 posted on 01/21/2014 7:36:36 AM PST by LS ('Castles made of sand, fall in the sea . . . eventually.' Hendrix)
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