Taylor Kitsch, Mark Wahlberg, Ben Foster and Emile Hirsch portray SEALs from Team 10 in Lone Survivor
June 28, 2005, four Navy SEALs are inserted into the mountains of Afghanistan as the forward reconnaissance team for Operation Red Wings. The ultimate objective of the operation is to capture or kill terrorist leader Ahmad Shah. The mission is compromised and an intense fire fight ensues. As the title suggests, there is only one who lives.
Based on the 2007 book “Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10” by Marcus Luttrell with Patrick Robinson, this film will stir up intense emotions in all who view it. You may experience fear, anger, sadness, disgust, misunderstanding, confusion, inspiration and just plain pain; pain for the SEALs, for their comrades, their families and friends. It should, in some way, make you emotional. If it doesn’t, you just don’t get it.
I think this film does a tremendous job of showing the brotherhood and camaraderie that exists among the elite fighting force we know as Navy SEALs. We see that even though there is a chain of command, they are a team, a family and everyone’s opinion matters, even if the final decision isn’t unanimous. They are bound by rules and choices have severe consequences. They battle; they endure, not for themselves but for their brothers beside them. Some may think this sounds cliché, but among the SEALs it isn’t, and you see that in this movie. They motivate each other to carry on, to not give up, and to exist on what must be sheer will and pure adrenaline in the most unthinkable of circumstances.
The use of music is fabulous and the absence of it heart stopping. There are times when the only noise in the theatre is the breathing of the characters on screen. Intense! Moments exist when you will cringe and turn away and want it to stop. Imagine for just a moment what it must have been like for Michael Murphy, Danny Dietz, Matt “Axe” Axelson and Marcus Luttrell.
In my opinion, this is where “Lone Survivor” excels. It gives realism to something most of us could scarcely imagine. It is, as our younger teenager put it, “heavy”. It would be wrong for me to say that I enjoyed the movie because I went in knowing the horrible outcome. I appreciate the film for its attention to detail and the way it honors all those lost as part of Operation Red Wings. Director Peter Berg said that he has “never been involved in a film where the actors felt such a strong sense of responsibility to honor the characters they were playing.” He also offered that “to look into the eyes of a father who has lost his son, to know that you are going to be held to a certain level of expectation by that family was really bigger than a movie.”
“Lone Survivor” is really more than a film. It is a well done adaptation of a mission gone terribly wrong, with awful finality. It is a tribute to the brotherhood of Naval Special Warfare teams, and an homage to those lost in the name of freedom and democracy.
Fellow viewer Pete told me before the movie that he had read the book a while ago and couldn’t help but be interested in the movie. He had high expectations. After the film was over Pete told me that “it followed the book pretty closely though a few things were different. Cramming it into two hours is difficult, but they did a pretty good job.”
You should see this movie and then you should give thanks to the lost, their families and friends and those who still continue the fight.
Navy SEALs operating in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (L-R) Sonar Technician (Surface) 2nd Class Matthew G. Axelson, of Cupertino, California; Senior Chief Information Systems Technician Daniel R. Healy, of Exeter, New Hampshire.; Quartermaster 2nd Class James Suh, of Deerfield Beach, Florida.; Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Marcus Luttrell; Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class Eric S. Patton, of Boulder City, Nevada; and Lt. Michael P. Murphy, of Patchogue, New York pose in Afghanistan. With the exception of Luttrell, all were killed June 28, 2005, by enemy forces while supporting Operation Red Wings.
Directed by: Peter Berg
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch and Ben Foster
Running time: 121 minutes
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