Lone Survivor Review

Lone Survivor

You know how some films like to keep you guessing about how they’re going to end?

Lone Survivor ain’t one of those films.

Beginning with a broken and beaten shaped Mark Wahlberg, we get to watch how he ends up in such a state via the miracle of flashback.

Marcus Luttrell is one those elite army marines, but we’re not talking about any kind of military unit here.

Oh no, Luttrell’s a Navy SEAL; and to make it as one of these sea, air and land military men, you’ve got to go through hell and back to prove you’re made of the right stuff.

There’s even a montage of real life marines in the opening credits that illustrates said hell, and the insane limits these Navy SEAL’s put their bodies through to make it into this gang.

Which all seems a little over the top at the time, until you see what Luttrell and his brothers in arms actually end up going through.

Stationed in Afghanistan, other anti-american countries are available, Luttrell’s elite unit have been tasked with tracking down some high level al-Qaeda ne’er-do-well’s known to be located in the area.

But even their elite training can’t prepare Luttrell and his fellow marines for what they stumble upon in the unforgiving mountainous terrain they find themselves in.

I had no idea what Lone Survivor was about before watching it, but a cast that includes Ben Foster, Emile Hirsch and Eric Bana is never going to be a hard sell for me.

Although, Taylor Kitsch may put a few folk off.

It turns out this latest Wahlberg vehicle is one of those based on a true story affairs.

Of course, seeing as Lone Survivor is based on a book written by Luttrell, just how much truth is present and correct here is debatable.

Lone Survivor

What isn’t in doubt is the incredible things these SEAL’s push themselves to do, and the bravery of their actions.

Which kind of makes the reasons for doing what they do even more important to me.

If you’re going to sacrifice your body and very life for something, which is just about the most noble act I can think of, you better make sure the cause you’re making this sacrifice in the name of is just as noble.

American foreign policy doesn’t fall into this category for me, not even close.

As for Lone Survivor, the action scenes are pretty insane; a cross between one of those Call Of Duty games and torture porn as we watch bones and bodies repeatedly broken in the name of survival.

And as the title tells you, there aren’t going to be many who beat these odds.

But who are the real heroes of this film?

The all american patriots and supposedly evil terrorists are both cut from the same cloth in my book, ready to kill for what they believe are more accurately have been told to believe in.

What difference does it make if this thing you kill for is a holy book or a flag with some stars and stripes on it?

The real heroes of Lone Survivor are the men who get caught between these two worlds, and are prepared to die for their own beliefs that aren’t shrouded in either bullshit religious dogma or faux patriotic rhetoric.

Jonathan Campbell

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January 2014
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