Saturday, July 19, 2014

Lone Survivor Review

Sparked by the huge success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the world is now exploding with superhero movies. Anyone sick of the movement is in for a rough time because it's not going to slow down for a long time, especially with DC trying to copy with The Justice League and Fox and Sony also trying to catch up to their Marvel counterparts. No, I'm not reviewing any Marvel or DC movie right now, but I bring this up because amidst all the superhero commotion, recently I had the pleasure of watching a movie about real superheroes -- a group of Navy SEALs. That of course is Lone Survivor. For one reason or another, I missed this movie in theaters. After watching it on Redbox, of which it was recently released to, I realized that I had made a mistake in not finding time to see it earlier, because this is one of the best war movies I've seen in quite some time.

The plot of Lone Survivor is no surprise. All you have to do is read the title of the movie and you know what's going to happen. If a friend happens to show you the movie and for some reason you miss the title, after about ten minutes you'll also know what's going to happen. There is a group of US Navy SEALs that go out on a mission and, well, there's only one survivor. However, the point of this movie is not to tell a story with a surprise ending. This is a movie that's all about the journey of these Navy SEALs. This is the true story of Marcus Luttrell, the surviving Navy SEAL. He wrote a book telling his story and this movie is based on his book.

This movie takes place just under ten years ago in June of 2005 and the setting is the Middle East. Yes, everything that has gone on there is super controversial, specifically our involvement, but regardless of your views on the war, you should appreciate this because in no way is this a political movie. This is simply the story of this group of Navy SEALs and I call them superheroes because their courage and bravery is practically super human. There is a lot of set up in the movie, but once it gets into the thick of things it is a crazy, emotional ride throughout. Their mission doesn't go at all as planned and once they start getting attacked is where I realized that no average human would've been able to do what they did. Early on they get backed into a corner and the only option they have is jumping off a cliff. I was thinking to myself that they were screwed. How are they going to get out of... HOLY COW! They all just jumped off that cliff. Wow! But that's only the beginning of things. The whole movie is loaded with scene after scene of this group doing crazy things like this. And why? Because they love their country and they are going to do their best to defend it. And they aren't going to leave any man behind, even if it means jumping off a cliff with a friend on your shoulders or climbing up the cliff to save a friend while bullets are flying left and right.

Yes, this movie is intense. Yes, this movie is emotional. No, you shouldn't show it to younger kids. And no, you shouldn't watch it if you get squeamish easily because parts of this movie were very hard to watch. But as I watched, I developed a strong feeling of gratitude. Not just because of these men, though, but also because this instance also made me reflect on everyone who's sacrificed to fight for this country, past, present, and future. Our soldiers have sacrificed their time to go fight for our country. And in many cases, they have died for our country. Why? So they can protect our freedoms. They did this for me. And for you. And that is awesome. That is what a true hero is. That is what I'd call a superhero.

Mark Wahlberg plays the title character of Marcus Luttrell and in my opinion he gives one of the best performances of his career. Also starring along with Wahlberg is Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, and Ben Foster. The four of them play our group of Navy SEALs and together they are what make this movie succeed. I'm sure Marcus Luttrell in watching this movie was pleased with how his group of friends were portrayed (but that of course is just a guess). This movie was nominated for two Oscars and honestly I think it should've gotten a few more because it is one of the best and most emotional war movies that I have seen in quite a while. If you are like me and never got around to seeing it, go Redbox right away. I give Lone Survivor a 9/10.

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