Quick Reaction Force

Lone Survivor

lone_survivor

Director: Peter Berg

Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Emile Hirsch, Taylor Kitsch, Ben Foster, Eric Bana, Alexander Ludwig, Jerry Ferrara

Battleship and Hancock director Peter Berg tackles more informative and ferocious subject matter in the excellent adaptation of the non-fiction war story Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell and Patrick Robinson, which details the failed mission of the US Navy Seals counter-insurgency attack in the Hindu Kush, Afghanistan against the Taliban. With superb sound editing and sound mixing, Lone Survivor follows in the spirit of Ridley Scott’s Black Hawk Down and features a tightly knit muscular group of actors playing soldiers led by Mark Wahlberg (Two Guns), Taylor Kitsch (Savages, Battleship), Emile Hirsch (Into the Wild, Milk) Ben Foster (3:10 to Yuma, The Mechanic), Eric Bana and newcomer Canadian actor Alexander Ludwig last seen in The Hunger Games.

The bravado and savagery of war is brilliantly recreated in this tightly directed account of a four man Navy Seals reconnaissance team led by Marcus Luttrell played by Wahlberg and his fraternal band of bearded soldiers which includes Michael Murphy played by Kitsch, Danny Dietz played by Emile Hirsch and Matthew Axelson played by Ben Foster. The harrowing gun battle which follows when the team are ambushed by a Taliban army who clearly know the terrain better than themselves is vividly recreated and the ordeal that Luttrell goes through makes for an outstanding war and survival movie.

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Lone Survivor, like Platoon, Saving Private Ryan and Black Hawk Down, does not stint on the violence and fear involved in mortal combat between two enemy forces and emphasizes the bravery and courage that these men faced in battling another American war on foreign territory against a hostile anti-American enemy.

Incidentally Lone Survivor was filmed in New Mexico at the Santa Fe National Forest standing in for the rugged and alien terrain of the Hindu Kush http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_Kush, the rugged mountain range which connects central Afghanistan and  northern Pakistan.

What makes Lone Survivor so watchable and riveting is the excellent sound quality of the mountainside battle which makes up the bulk of the film. This film received two Oscar nominations in 2014 for Best Sound Editing and Sound Mixing and rightly so. With a top notch cast especially Foster and Hirsch playing against type, Lone Survivor is highly recommended viewing for fans of great war films. Supremely entertaining, action-packed and technically unrivaled, Lone Survivor is definitely one of Peter Berg’s best films so far.

 

 

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