Lone Survivor: Review

Image from: hollywoodchicago.com

Lone Survivor, based on the book written by Marcus Luttrell and Patrick Robinson tells the true story of Marcus and his team of U.S Navy Seals who are left fighting for survival after a mission to kill Al-Qaeda leader Ahmad Shahd goes terribly wrong.

I always have concerns about films like this as I think more often than not they are made with some kind of political agenda, to be used as modern day propaganda which glorifies America and demonisizes pretty much everybody else.

Fortunately Lone Survivor steers away from politics and agendas and decides instead to focus on the people who matter most, the ones fighting in conflicts across the globe on a daily basis. No matter what your views are on the war, it’s quiet clear that the men and women fighting it on both sides physically and mentally have to go through things no person should have to and above all else this film feels respectful of that.

It’s an expertley crafted modern day war film which gives a no holds barred glimpse into the relentless and brutal nature of warfare. It has well constructed and at times harrowing battle sequences where you feel every gun shot and every thud of a soldier hitting the mountainous terrain as they run for their lives to the point where the audience I saw this with could at times quite clearly be heard to gasp out of shock, as if they were going through the battle themselves.

So on that level Lone Survivor works really well but it has a lot more going for it too. The direction by Peter Berg is absolutely fantastic and despite the horrible nature of what’s going on screen, it’s visually stunning with the Afghanistan landscape adding a certain amount of beauty to the screen.

The performances across the board are excellent with each of the actors bringing a certain amount of respect and gravitas to their roles and rightly so. Mark Wahlberg too proves once again that when he wants to act, he can act and this particular role and story clearly means a lot to him.

What I will say about the film that concerned me is it’s depiction of some of the characters deaths which did feel slightly over dramatised, more than likely to shock and anger the audience which didn’t really sit right in the otherwise very balanced film. 

This is a considerably minor issue though and for the most part Lone Survivor is a film that I didn’t enjoy because enjoy isn’t the right word to use. It managed however to make my jaw drop, make me well up on one occasion and certainly kept my complete and undivided attention the whole time.
Coming out of the film I found myself surprised as to how much it affected me and I’ll be going to see it again on Monday. You should go see it too.

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