SYNOPSIS: Based on The New York Times bestselling true story of heroism, courage and survival, Lone Survivor tells the incredible tale of four Navy SEALs on a covert mission to neutralize a high-level al-Qaeda operative who are ambushed by the enemy in the mountains of Afghanistan. Faced with an impossible moral decision, the small band is isolated from help and surrounded by a much larger force of Taliban ready for war. As they confront unthinkable odds together, the four men find reserves of strength and resilience as they stay in the fight to the finish. Mark Wahlberg stars as Marcus Luttrell, the author of the first-person memoir ďLone Survivor,Ē whose book has become a motivational resource for its lessons on how the power of the human spirit is tested when we are pushed beyond our mental and physical limits.
REVIEW: There are several key points to making this movie and story worthy. And though I would love to be highly critical in length about how awesome this latest Peter Berg (Battleship, 2012) effort is; for the sake of brevity, Iíll try to make this short and sweet. As one combs deeper through Lone Survivor's layers, it becomes quite obvious that it is a tragedy, both in circumstance and in truth. It is the sort of story that kicks oneís teeth in with the relentless onslaught of gory bone-tingling, nerve-shattering bombs, bullets and blood. And as would be expected, it is accompanied by the typical rapid-fire military jargon and exaggerated protocols. As war flicks go, it is as tough a watch as youíll ever find on the big screen. Director Peter Berg seemingly captures the tension and the pain of the Navy SEALís harrowing five-day ordeal in some of the roughest terrain imaginable in a war zone. He transports us to a monstrous battle fought in the desolate peaks of Afghanistan, where the beleaguered SEAL team encounters some of the Afghani-Talibanís worst.
In this rich and moving chronicle of honor, courage and patriotism, Mark Wahlberg delivers one of the most powerful demonstrations of his talent, to date. And though in recent years, the Department of Defense (DOD) conflict movies tend to come across as extended infomercials for the US armed forces, Lone Survivor is a story that is a perfect illustration and testament to the true warrior spirit demonstrating the level of physical and mental punishment these SEALs suffered through. Itís graphic, but more than that, itís just simply brutal with a testament to humanity in the face of conflict.
The four actors that represented the central characters carried the heavy burden of representing that warrior spirit and did so with magnificent display of talent and skill. However, whatís most notable throughout this movie is the manner in which Wahlberg is able to convey the true spirit of the modern American warrior. For a man that has never spent a day of his life on any battlefield or war-zone in any conflict around the globe, he embodied and displayed those attributes and convictions of the US Armed Forces personnel with an intensity that can only be judged by the like-minded. To that end, thereís something to be said about those whom will judge his spiritually honest portrayal of the men and women in uniform. They [the awards judges] will probably not give him the credit he deserves for playing this role because they themselves cannot see what perfection Wahlberg is able to bring forth, without actually experiencing war firsthand. Hats off to him for such a valiant effort and Iím certain Marcus Luttrell (central character) is proud of Wahlbergís representation.
There are a few minor shortcomings with how the storyline is paced; however, this movie is probably the best conflict movie of the year. It is certainly worth watching in any format, whether in theaters, on DVD or pay-per-view. It deserves four and a half stars out of five for excellence in acting, substance and cinematography.
By Movi-Man Stan
MOVIE REVIEWS >>>