Thursday, August 28, 2014

Lone Survivor (2013)

WARNING:  I’m going to give away major details about the movie that may spoil it.  You’ve been warned.

I generally don’t like movies that start in the middle or end of the story.  With Lone Survivor, we not only know that one person will survive, but we spend most of the movie knowing that Mark Wahlberg’s Marcus Luttrell, is going to be that survivor.  We start with Luttrell being evacuated and treated, so we have to figure he makes it out alive.

The story is of a SEAL team sent in to kill a Taliban leader, identifiable by the fact that he‘s missing an ear lobe.  Luttrell is one of four men sent in to kill him.  We get to see some SEAL training in the beginning, just to see how tough team members are.  It doesn’t take long for the mission to go south, leaving the team to retreat.

The main problem is that three goat herders happen to find their location, setting up a predicament.  They can’t very well let them go, as the herders could reveal their location before they could get away.  Even keeping them alive could provide them opportunity to somehow get word back.  No one wants to kill three people who did nothing to the SEAL team, so the decision is made to leave them tied up and seek higher ground so that they might call for extraction.

It’s never that easy.  You never have a movie where everything goes right.  Otherwise, we wouldn’t have a movie.  As I said, Luttrell is the only one that survives.  The other three are killed when the locals figure out where they are.   Parents should be warned that there is a lot of fighting and, by extension, bloodshed.  It’s not the kind of thing that children should watch.

This wouldn’t have been my first choice for a movie.  My parents rented it through Netflix and asked if I wanted to watch.  I decided to give it a try and ended up watching the whole thing.  The movie is based on a book, which was an account of Operation Red Wings.

It’s difficult to really go into any sort of detail about the movie because so much of it is the action.  The first part of the movie is getting to know those involved in the mission.  The second part is the team trying to get out of a bad situation.  I probably never would have rented the movie on my own.  It’s not the kind of movie I usually go for.

Most of this is that the story is tenuous.  The entire thing is predicated on one thing going wrong.  If the team hadn’t been discovered, the mission may very well gone off without a hitch.  Yes, this is based on a true story, but how many teams accomplish their missions flawlessly?  How many times does a mission have one or two mistakes, but still work?  As I said, I started the movie knowing something bad was going to happen and that we’ be building up to that.  It’s one of those situations where the title gives away the movie.

Lone Survivor Official Trailer #1 (2013) - Mark Wahlberg Movie HD

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