Lone Survivor

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Lone Survivor

American films about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have usually failed to connect with audiences. Director Peter Berg’s adaptation of US Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell’s memoir Lone Survivor is an exception, raking in big money at the US box office: it seems the secret to mainstream success is no-holds-barred patriotism.
The true story of a failed four-man mission in 2005 to assassinate a Taliban leader in Afghanistan, this film is smarter than it looks. Which, to be honest, isn’t all that hard thanks to a lot of extremely overt US patriotism. (It opens with a real-life Navy SEAL training montage and ends with a terrible soft-rock version of Bowie’s ‘Heroes’.) Despite all the flag-waving, it doesn’t fudge the fact that the SEAL team was basically a kill-squad sent to murder an enemy leader in a part of the country where he enjoyed popular support. Not to mention their main reason for not executing a kid who spotted them was their concern they’d go to prison.
The male bonding is generic but the fights are tense and extremely well-handled. The actors (including Mark Wahlberg and Eric Bana) are basically bodies to be flung down cliffs and repeatedly shot up. This is a film that gets right down to the nitty gritty of what it means to fight a war, and it’s hard to come away from it thinking it’s all been worthwhile.
Written by Anthony Morris