Movie Review: Lone Survivor

Mark Wahlberg, Eric Bana, Taylor Kitsch

Lone Survivor is based on a true story, that of a June 2005 mission entitled "Operation Red Wings." In the mission, which failed, SEAL Team 10 was tasked with capturing or killing Taliban leader Ahmad Shahd. I had not heard of their mission before this movie, but it's definitely an interesting story, and Lone Survivor should help bring more attention to it, as well as the brave men who served in the mission.

The film starts out rather unusually, with a few main characters instead of just one on which it focuses. Lieutenant Kristensen (Eric Bana) is one of the leaders on base, and it shows him with his fellow SEALs: Mike Murphy (Taylor Kitsch), Danny Dietz (Emile Hirsch), Marcus Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg), Matt Axelson (Ben Foster), and others. We get a sense of their camaraderie and how close they all are, like a family, and they soon initiate 21-year-old Shane (Alexander Ludwig) into that family. Soon, however, the main team takes off into the woods in their attempt to capture Ahmad Shahd. They do some reconnaissance first, and then form a plan of attack, until a complication strikes, and decisions have to be made; what takes place after that is a war scene that's so realistic (I'd imagine) that it's hard to watch.

All of the actors were great in this movie, and the film has an A-list cast: Bana, Kitsch, Hirsch, Wahlberg, Foster, and more. Wahlberg is the title character here, which I can say without spoiling the movie, as the film starts with him being rescued and then rolls back to three days prior. Originally I was thinking that the film was going to be like Zero Dark Thirty, which I saw last January, but the two could not have been more different; ZDT was about a successful mission and was definitely not as graphic as Lone Survivor.

Yes, see this movie, and bring tissues. We read in the newspaper and online every day about soldiers who serve, but it's rare that we get to see them in a movie like this; it's hard to watch but at the same time, necessary. I actually couldn't believe the movie was based on real events, because there are some parts in it, especially near the end, that was difficult to believe; the movie's post-scripts explain how this actually played out, and they depicted it mostly as it happened, it seems. Be aware that the movie does have a lot of language in it (hence its R-rating), but it's a great movie for adults and older teenagers to see, and I hope it does well in theaters.

Lone Survivor is in theaters today, January 10th, and is rated R with a runtime of 121 minutes. 4.5 stars out of 5.

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