Sunday, March 1, 2015

Lone Survivor - 8 stars out of 10

Lone Survivor - 8 stars out of 10

“Lone Survivor” is a graphic portrayal of the war in Afghanistan.  It is based on the true story of Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell and can be considered the “Saving Private Ryan” of modern warfare.  The extreme war violence and strong language should be taken into consideration before watching this film.  It is hard to watch at times but the images pay tribute to the bravery of our soldiers and create awareness of the sacrifices that they have made.  I was completely amazed by the resilience of these soldiers as they band together and fight for their lives with broken bones and shrapnel in their legs.  Our emotional connection with the soldiers relies on a scene early in the film in which they decide to do the right thing when encountering a group of shepherds; in fact, just thinking about the scene and the resulting Taliban attack makes me very angry.  I thought that Mark Wahlberg might be a distraction in the lead role since he is such a popular actor, but his quality acting supersedes his stardom and he truly embodies Luttrell.  All of the actors are great as you can see true agony on the faces of the SEALs and I felt particularly connected to the sympathetic Arab played by Ali Suliman.  I would find his portion of the story to be cheesy in most cases, but the fact that this sequence of events actually happened in real life restores a bit of my faith in humanity.  My main complaint with this film is the action sequences.  They move so fast that it can be difficult to follow and, while it builds the intensity that makes the film so gripping, “American Sniper” has showed me that a great script can help us to follow tactical action sequences without confusion.  Overall, “Lone Survivor” is a great film that everybody should see to better appreciate the sacrifice of our soldiers in Afghanistan.  It does justice to this unique war setting while bringing humanity to the Afghans who are on the innocent side of the conflict and face just as many trials as the soldiers.

[Pictured: The interactions between Wahlberg and Suliman create an unexpected theme]

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