Film Review – Lone Survivor (2013)

Lone Survivor - post

Title: Lone Survivor (2013)

Director: Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights)

Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Ben Foster, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Eric Bana, Alexander Ludwig

Plot: Lone Survivor focus’s on the failed Operation Red Wings mission in the Middle East. The film centres around the 4 man who behind enemey lines showed courage beyond words in a situation that pitted them against an army of angry Taliban fighters. Based on Marcus Luttrell’s book of the same name.

“You can die for your country, I’m going to live for mine”

Review by Eddie on 24/02/2014

There is much to admire in Peter Bergs tribute to the men lost in the botched 2005 Operation Red Wings Milatary expeditition but there is an overall feeling one gets also that Berg has himself to blame for failing to properly establish his 4 leading men beyond typical war film characitures and give the film an identity and audience affiliation that would of allowed the film to pack a much bigger emotional punch.

Lone Survivor starts things out in promising fashion with the opening montage of real life military training giving the audience insight into what these men endure to become elite soldiers. The subsequent segment at the Milatary base of the soldiers gives off the sense also that we will be spending some quality time getting to know the men involved in the real life tragedy but it’s merely a false pretense for once the operations starts all character growth is stunted in favour of typical war skirmishes despite them being unquestionably well staged.

Berg delivers world class direction of a roughly 40 minute barrage of frightenly realistic action that while acting as edge of your seat, white knuckle filmmaking due to a disappearance of any character we truely know or care for it can only take the film so far. In the lead role as Marcus Luttrell Wahlberg gives one of his less charismatic turns with only Ben Foster making something worthwhile in an acting sense with his turn as Axe. When talking about Kitsch and Hirsch they equally don’t get an opportunity to make much of there underwritten roles which is a strange thing considering the wealth of information that would of been made available to Berg upon research of these real life men and when reading about the films reasearch time spent to do justice to them in the movie it would be considered a failure for the film in allowing us to not get a sense of who they were as there lost in a spray blood squibs and bullets.

Lathering on the patriotism thick and fast Lone Survivor is a impressive feat of filmmaking that is not allowed to truely shine thanks to its lacklustre script and cardboard characters. With more time spent on the script and developing these brave men into more than mere movie soldiers that movie would of been a sure fire war classic cut from the same cloth as films like Black Hawk Down and Platoon. Special mention must also be paid to the stunt team on this film who on face value look to have endured some serious bruising on their work here.

3 and a half agonising mountain side falls out of 5

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19 responses to “Film Review – Lone Survivor (2013)

  1. Good review Eddie. The best decision Berg made here as a director, was that he paid attention to these soldiers and what it was that they tried to do to stay alive, but most of all, keep the other alive as well.

  2. Great review, a pity you didn’t award it higher. I personally loved it, but I agree when you say that Kitsch and Hirsch regarding their roles and I think they should have been expanded. Look forward to more reviews!

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