Skip to comments.Honor and Courage Take Center Stage in the Patriotic 'Lone Survivor
Posted on 01/11/2014 7:16:50 AM PST by Kaslin
Editor's note: This review is cross-posted at JohnHanlonReviews.com
Director Peter Berg knows how to celebrate the fraternal affection that men oftentimes share with one another. On the show "Friday Night Lights"which he executive produced, wrote for and sometimes directed the male friendships on display were formed on the football field. In Bergs latest productionthe film "Lone Survivor" those relationships are borne and grown in the military quarters and on the battlefield.
Based on the nonfiction book by Marcus Luttrell, this new drama focuses on a team of Navy SEALsa band of brothers, if you willwho are sent into Afghanistan to kill a psychotic militant Taliban leader named Ahmad Shahd (Yousuf Azami).
The SEAL team is composed of four men who speak, compete and argue with one another like brothers. Taylor Kitsch, a "Friday Night Lights" alum, is the well-respected commander Michael Murphy who is leading the mission on the ground. Murphy is backed up by the strong-willed Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg), the naive Danny Dietz (Emile Hirsch), and the fiercely-loyal Matt Axelson (Ben Foster). Their interactions at the beginning focused on highlighting their affection for one another feel very real and show how tight these individuals were.
The four men are eventually sent in for their mission, which quickly falls apart when they are accidentally spotted by some kids and an older man from the local Afghan village. The officers are forced to decide what to do kill the old man and the children or let them free and risk the Taliban wrath and their decision is a life-changing one. Because of it, the enlisted men eventually face a group of unrepentant Taliban warriors, who show them no mercy.
Its in the scenes of battle patriotic and well-filmed that we witness the carnage of this particular mission. Berg is unrelenting in showing the brutality of the Taliban warriors and the overwhelming insecurity these men faced when their mission failed. Not only were they being hunted by people who wanted them dead but they had no viable escape plan. Theres a sheer helplessness on full display here that is hard to forget.
Although some of the characters are underwritten, theres a humanity and sympathy that we feel for each of them. When the story opens, Murphy is looking for the perfect wedding present for his fiancé and idealistic enough to believe that buying her an Arabian horse is in his budget (its not). Another is worried about the color palette for his home and that sense of blatant household normalcy is what he holds onto, even when the enemy surrounds him and has nearly destroyed him.
Its hard not to appreciate the sacrifices our militaryand their families make after seeing this brutal and oftentimes realistic feature. The films impact might not be remembered as strongly ten years down the line but the immediacy of each mans love for his brothers and their patriotic fervor for this country will be hard to forget. Berg and his crew especially the multi-talented Wahlberg have done a fine job in bringing this heartbreaking and painful story to the big screen. Its hard to watch but worth it, if only to appreciate the love, humanity and the honor that exists in a world where there can be so much hatred.
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Thanks for posting this Kaslin.
I had the opportunity to see Marcus tell his story in person.... There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
Awesome film, we were allowed to premier it Thursday night as a fund raiser for a local hero. The man was a Navy Seal who died in a black hawk that went down in 2012. We had 500 show up and raise money for his foundation. Great for the family to have so many with them as they watched. Very difficult for them while watching the helicopter crash in the movie.
The movie has Marcus’s personal stamp on it, you can see it in every frame. If you haven’t gone yet go see it. You won’t be disappointed.
Update from Hollywood reporter
Box Office: ‘Lone Survivor’ Takes No Prisoners, Headed for $34 Million Debut should win the weekend
“I had the opportunity to see Marcus tell his story in person.... There wasnt a dry eye in the house.”
I saw Jake Tapper interview him yesterday, and the guy ripped Tapper a new asshole for the questions he asked. Tapper looked like HE was going to cry.
Contrast these American heroes with the vermin in this Regime and in this Congress. Veterans and their families have got to get out the vote in November to send the Elitists in Congress back to whatever rock they crawled out from under.
I don’t do movies at the theater but have been waiting for this one for so long. The theater was sold out at the showing I attended. Same with the following showing at 9:30. The audience was totally silent during the entire movie. No wise cracks, talking or cell phones. Applause at the end. This is the most realistic movie I’ve ever seen. They did an outstanding job bringing Luttrell’s book to the screen. Very tough to watch though. Most of the women, including my wife, had the tissue thing going. IMHO, this is “Best Picture” material. What a great, great movie.
If Tapper only had to worry about getting a size larger asshole...That would have been the least of his worries...
Agreed, I wasn’t at the landing at Omaha beech but men that were said that Saving Private Ryan was the best movie to reenact it. This movie rivals that level of authenticity.
Yes it does. My wife was very affected by it. Since I had read the book, I knew what to expect. She had heard me talk about Luttrell’s book many times but seeing it on the screen really got to her. We, and the entire audience, were really blown away by it.
Rapper illustrates the common idea people in this country have
They put out of their minds that the election process has more to do with what is expected of our military than anything else
The role of government is not properly ordered to provide welfare, food stamps, programs for illegals or union members (in exchange for votes), it is to provide protection against enemies, foreign and domestic.
Tapper and the media have no regard for that, nor do Obama supporters, nor do people who don’t think about their country and how its supposed to operate
The flimsy Southern border situation adds to the hey we’re fine attitude
People think the military is like a mercenary outfit, that Obama approves or disapproves of what they do, but its really the military who decide where to go and what to do, and based on providing revenue to the military industry
When a republican is president the whole structure is different in their minds
But these guys work for us, the voting public, citizens, who choose whom to put in charge of them
When they go on a mission, it is at the request of the people who voted in the congress who send them, and when it is an executive order, it is still at congressional level, who allow it or not, even an abuse if executive power (wimpiness in not stopping the president is never an excuse)
Tapper illustrates that he and other journalists think they know more about what should happen. They need to go back and look at the basic structure
These guys don’t work for Obama nor any resident or any particular group, they work for the citizens, and to defend the constitution. And they don’t morph that. Politicians morph it and they shouldn’t. But the military individual does not morph that
Elections have consequences
Awesome movie. Go see it!
Read the book when it first came out.
Moving. Very moving.
From the article there is an error: “Because of it, the enlisted men eventually face a group of unrepentant Taliban warriors, who show them no mercy.”
Lt Murphy was an officer, not enlisted, and he sacrificed himself to make that call for help.
Otherwise, good article.
I happened to catch the show The Talk yesterday. It’s an awful show but they had the cast of the movie. I was shocked to see that not one of these foolish women was dry eyed.
“but its really the military who decide where to go and what to do, and based on providing revenue to the military industry”
‘...but THAT it is the military who decide’ is what I should’ve said
What I meant was that this is the misconception by the public.
As tapper states is that he thinks the military members make these decisions and he is wrong
Oh. Thanks. Was confused as it appeared you were saying the military and the defense industry decide when the military will be put in harms way.
Too many people feel that way, when in fact the military leadership is more reluctant than the (never-served) politicos, and the defense industry is reluctant as well (most people working in the defense industry are former serving and still have friends and family in service, so they have a lot at stake).
Politicos that never served. . .not so much.
Honor and Courage Take Center Stage in the Patriotic 'Lone Survivor
Check out article, then # 11 , # 17.
try this again....
I agree , Best Picture , except for the rattlesnake . No rattlers in AFG
I’m hoping someone will drive me to the theater tomorrow so I can watch this wit muh crumpled up arm.
Hopefully I won’t fall asleep.
Your welcome, great numbers from box office mojo.. Congrats to Marcus 1 in the country.
12 1 (estimate)
-33.7% / 35766%
+2,873 / +45283.4%
2,875 / $3,343
$38,892,000 / 19
Just saw it. No one left after the movie was over until all the men who lost their lives were honored.
It’s very powerful.
Most of the mountain scenes were filmed about 10 miles from me in the Manzano Mountains. I guess the snake was an uninvited “extra”.
Very well stated.
I went and read the comments on Amazon. I was surprised at the way the liberals were criticizing Marcus Lutrell’s account of the discussion of the ROEs. How they shouldn’t have been a discussion. ROE (rules of Engagement) are sacrosanct. I think there were other options that they should have considered more thoroughly, but I don’t want to go into it since so many haven’t seen it yet.
Everyone is trying to second guess what these brave men did. I could see both sides when he made the decision. But these same critics give Obama a pass when it comes to drone strikes that murder many innocent civilians along with killing the bad guys. Killing civilians is justified if you are the President and you use a drone.
I saw it yesterday then actually watched the Tapper interview and was just posting on that thread to those who were critical of the team’s tactics.
I’ll copy and paste:
Just MHO, of course
They did everything right.
They wondered aloud about what to do with the goatherds, just as anyone would do in his own mind.
They could not murder them, and they were right not to.
The Apaches should have been left on site for support.
The the guy answering the phone and the skipper should have been quicker.
The intel could have been better regarding what they were going into.
The radios should have worked.
My late father, a former exec at an electronics corp, a former marine, and an electrical engineer, today, a day after seeing the movie, would be making tracks and scrambling to make sure no team gets caught like that without proper radio communication.
And any SONY, Motorola, even Radio Shack, certainly Apple execs today should be doing so.
There is a great shame that our researchers cant figure out how to get radios to special forces teams.
Tapper is way off in this respect:
He, like all comfortable, proud closed-minded, selfish Americans, is under the impression that people in the military choose their missions and opt in or out.
And maybe the good Mr. Wahlberg, who took on this project and produced it, realizes this but is not aware:
It is the voters, the citizens who pick and choose wars and missions and battles when they choose our leaders.
It is congress who is in control of our engagements.
So Tapper needs to speak with and about Congress, and leave the military individual, who is doing his job, trusting the voters and the Congress to keep them in or out of their missions.
And theyll die doing so, and these guys will die without fear, or loss of hope. Thats what they do.
ah ha ....old Route 66
Actually, the film crew trespassed on Chilili Land Grant Land... I’m not sure who I’d want pissed at me, them or the Taliban.
did you get the check out any of the filming process ?
No, I just let them do their job. A lot of filming in NM. several rural scenes in Breaking Bad were done within a mile of my place.
Excellent film. Very hard to hold it together at the end, when it shows pictures and film of these fine men. God bless them all.