Movie Review — Lone Survivor

by Ryan on January 25, 2014

in Anything Else,Media Bias,Pop Culture,The Iraq Front,War on Terror

I vaguely remember a story back in 2005 about this Navy SEAL in Afghanistan who was the only one who survived an attack by dozens of Taliban, who managing to crawl to an Afghan village, and somehow got rescued.  This Iraq War vet (OIF 1), after recovering from his wounds volunteered to go back to Afghanistan, eventually receiving the Navy Cross from President Bush.  What a story!

Last summer, a friend of mine told me that he just read a book by that very SEAL, Marcus Luttrell, and that a movie was going to be made about it.  So, without hesitation I read the book “Lone Survivor.”  It was real, funny at times, and absolutely incredible that anyone survived those events.  The film version of Lone Survivor was released wide a few weeks ago, but today was the earliest I could see it.  Here’s the trailer:

The movie, like the book, is intended to pay homage to those who died supporting the ill-fated “Operation Red Wing” in June 2005 (stick around before the credits for a poignant look at the fallen).  It’s a classic “band of brothers” story:  the idea that soldiers fight more for the person next to them than for any political cause or leader.  I can see how some movie critics perceived the first 1/3 of the film as a military recruiting tool, but that’s a cynical point of view — the SEALs really are the elite of the elite and naturally a culture builds around that.  People like CNN’s Jake Tapper apparently also misinterpreted the point of the film, doing so to Luttrell’s face — that liberal “senselessness” crap didn’t fly so well, especially around Luttrell who criticized the MSM in his book for having just that attitude.  It’s hard to criticize a war hero like that and sound anything but small.

I did notice one other important point in the film.  It seemed clear in the book and film that every chance Luttrell had to make himself look great, his teammates rose to the occasion instead.  His character comes across as a man who happened to make it, not through any heroics, but through chance, perhaps even through God.  I’ve heard a lot of veterans from different wars throughout living memory express the same thing:  the “heroes” were the ones who didn’t make it back.

With all the film’s action, suspense, and intensity, it’s still a basic story about brotherhood under arms.  I’d give the movie an A-, but the book was a solid A.  It’s one of those war movies you should see.

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