Lone Survivor Reviews
Lone Survivor is an Action/War film based on a true story. It is a story about a group of Navy Seals that died in Afghanistan during an Operation. The movie itself is very good. Not only is it actioned packed, it also connects the audience with each of the four main characters. Though the movie is not perfect. The only complaint would be how unrealistic it can be during the gun fight about half way through the movie. The four main characters are: Marcus Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg), Michael Murphy (Taylor Kitsch), Danny Dietz (Emile Hirsch), and Matthew Axelson (Ben Foster). Better known as Marcus, Mikey and/or Murphy, Danny, and Axe. The movie revolves around these for Seals having to execute an operation. The focus of the operation is to ID a Taliban leader known as Ahmad Shah. The main theme of the movie is brotherhood.
The movie begins with images of real life Navy recruits going through rigorous training. Such as, being thrown into a pool with their feet tied up, and other physically/mentally challenging exercises. It also shows images of the Navy recruits graduating and celebrating. The first actual movie scene is of Marcus on a stretcher with wounds being flown on a helicopter. Right from the start the characters show team bonding and closeness; Both of which strengthen and express their brotherhood. This is expressed in various movie scenes. One being of Murphy and Marcus, where Murphy asked about wedding advice from Marcus. Another is of Murphy beating Danny in a long-distance race. Both scenes show different brotherly aspects. One being caring and giving advice, and the other is competition that exits between all brothers.
A few scenes later, they are dropped off in the middle of the desert, reach their destination, decide to take a new position, positively ID Shah, and sit back to wait for further instructions. Whilst waiting for orders, three sheep herders run into the team. One of them (a young adult male) shows signs of hatred towards the Seals (Americans) and loyalty to the Taliban. At this point Murphy is forced to make a decision. Axe and Marcus get into an argument over what should be done. Axe is set on tying the sheep herders up in order to get extracted safely. Always keeping in mind Murphy, Marcus, and Danny. Meanwhile Marcus's counter argument is the consequences that would take place if they were to tie the sheep herders and they were to die because of it. Marcus is also keeping in mind his brothers (the rest of the team). Murphy decides to let them go and have his team hike up and call for extraction. After letting the sheep herders go, the young adult is shown running down the mountain. When the team finally reaches the top of the mountain, they find a false summit. Murphy then decides to have his team hike back down into the tree line and wait the day out. This is where they make contact with the enemies (the Taliban Army).
Over half way through the movie the team is forced into a gun fight. The gun fight is action packed, full of gun rounds, grenade launchers, and RPG rounds. The Seals show amazing marksmanship skills, though they are significantly outnumbered. Regardless they fight to keep one another alive. All team members undergo gruesome injuries. On Multiple occasion they are forced to jump off rock ledges which lead to them tumbling down the side of the mountain. Hitting rocks, trees, and other obstacles along the way. On one of these jumps, Marcus is forced to pick up Danny due to him being unable to walk on his own. As Marcus is going to jump, Danny is shot which causes him to fall off Marcus's shoulders. Danny is left to fend for himself against the enemy and ends up getting killed. At the same time, Murphy decides to risk his life in order to contact their base. This is a great act of leadership, as well as, brotherhood.
Towards the end of the gun fight. The rest of their platoon shows up putting their lives on the line due to the lack of black hawk support. The helicopter ends up getting shot down with an RPG. In a last-ditch effort, Axe and Marcus decide to split up in order to increase the chances of surviving. Right before splitting up however Axe tells Marcus to let his wife know that he loves her and that he died with his brothers, setting an emphasize on the brotherhood theme. Axe is the last to die due to ammo shortage. In the end, Marcus is rescued by villagers. Once in the village, he writes a note which is taken to an Army base nearby. They end up picking him up at the village, but not right before engaging the Taliban. The movie ends with Marcus being flown back. After the movies ends, pictures are brought up of the real-life soldiers who died in this operation. The very last picture is of Marcus and Mohammad Gulab, the villager who saved his life.
Overall the movie was a great action-packed film. It was amazing to see a movie about heroes who regardless of their backgrounds, cultures, likes and dislikes come together and form a bond. A bond so strong that they consider each other family who fight alongside one another always looking out for each other. Yes, the movie was a bit over the top in some scenes. For example, the RPG missiles seemed to be unrealistically weak, and the amount of damage that was sustained by the main characters seemed to be more than humanly possible. Despite this the movie is a great example of brotherhood.
4 Navy SEALs on a mission to find a high-level Taliban operative find themselves in a desperate gun battle with enemy forces in the Hindu Kush region.
Like Black Hawk Down, this is a movie which puts you in the middle of combat and it immerses you well. It isn't as claustrophobic and tense as Black Hawk Down was but it still does a great job in immersing you. The make-up work is bloody realistic and it shows you how all 4 men slowly become weaker and weaker as the battles they face continue on and on. Black Hawk Down didn't have this feature but I still think that it was more tense. I'll explain why I think that later in this review.
Mark Wahlberg did a great job acting. His performance isn't too impressive at first but after the movie starts to pick up, he gives it all he has and he does an exceptional job in the second half. All of the other actors give great performances as well but Wahlberg is the one who stands out the most considering that he's the main star of the movie.
I mentioned earlier that this movie has a lot of tension (which is does). However, perhaps "Lone Survivor" wasn't exactly the best title they could have come up with. After the other 3 men die, I felt that the movie lost some of its suspense because I knew that Wahlberg wouldn't die and I felt more calm in the battle scenes which came after it. I know that some people already knew the ending since this was based on a true story but I wasn't familiar with the main story and I would've felt more tension if there was a different title.
Even though this movie loses some of its tension near the end, I still think that this is an underrated war movie and it deserves a lot more praise. Some people have argued that it has intensity not seen in a Hollywood war movie ever since Black Hawk Down. I kind of agree with this statement. However, this movie still has well-executed battle scenes which are definitely worthy of a viewing. In my opinion, this is one of the best war movies of the past 15 years.