By Andrew Bevevino
Bullets whipping. Grenades exploding. Soldiers crashing over cliffs. Peter Berg’s most recent epic is all of that and a tear jerking, emotional display of American courage and valor. If you’re looking for an amazing story mixed with the greatest gun fight scenes of all time, you’ve found it with “Lone Survivor.”
Based on the true story of Operation Red Wings, the story surrounds a team of four navy SEALs: Marcus Luttrell, Michael Murphy, Danny Dietz, and Matt Axelson. Set in Afghanistan, the SEALs are on a mission to assassinate a Taliban leader named Ahmad Shah. When the op goes south, the SEALs experience a fight like they’ve never seen.
The film does a great job of humanizing the secretive and mysterious SEALs. Though a bit cliché, the camaraderie of the team was lively and cheerful. It’s refreshing to see the SEALs portrayed as something other than weapon-wielding killing machines.
But, of course, the friendly side of the soldiers isn’t what sets this movie apart. This action tour de force features fire-fight scenes that make “Black Hawk Down” look like “Toy Story.”
After they are discovered by the Taliban, the SEALs are forced to take their guns off safe and do what they do best; kill. The battle starts slowly and methodically, but it quickly ramps up into a fast-paced, bullet-riddled frenzy. These bone-crunching, neck-breaking gun fights are nothing short of astounding. Making the audience grit their teeth and clench their fists, Berg hit a grand slam directing this eye-popping masterpiece.
On top of the excitement are painfully difficult moral questions. The dilemma presented in this movie revives the age-old, ever-elusive question; what’s the difference between right and wrong? After the agony and death suffered by those involved, the question remains.
With both explosions and emotions, “Lone Survivor” is a combat movie for the ages. Mark Wahlberg and company put on a fierce and gritty performance, rounding out this film as an action packed powerhouse. A story of bravery, sacrifice, and American heroism, “Lone Survivor” is definitely worth a watch.
Actually, it’s worth two or three.
Out of 5 stars, “Lone Survivor” gets 4.5