Lone Survivor (2013)

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In aftermath of the blop Battleship, Peter Berg tries a purgatory project to find his retribution. Only this time he won’t try his luck adapting a traditional game, yet, a book instead. Lone Survivor is the latest movie he directs which is dubbed after a book with the same title. The book written as a memoir of Marcus Luttrell and Patrick Robinson tells about a real-life quest of The US Navy SEAL in Afghanistan–so basically this is another ‘based-on-true-event’ flick.

Initially, Lone Survivor sounds like any snub movie–telling how superior US army is. Well, it turns out becoming no snub at all. For it’s not merely a tale of victory–and frankly, it’s a great defeat… that I find it quite impressing.

The movie begins with footage of US Navy SEAL’s breathtaking rehearsal which leads us to our men–the quartet Marcus Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg), Michael P. Murphy (Taylor Kitsch), Danny Dietz (Emile Hirsch), and Matthew Axelson (Ben Foster)–being send on a mission in a very lethal ground. Trouble comes along with their confrontation with civilians. Like, damned if you do, damned if you don’t–they’re after a dillema. If they release those civilians, it’s very likely they will side with Taliban; as a consequence, this group might be ambushed by Taliban and their mission to annihilate Ahmad Shah fails. Yet, if they don’t release those civilians, those people will die for whatever reasons.

Under a very serious social conflict, Michael, who leads this group, decides to release those civilians and retreats. He plans to call the HQ and ask for reinforcement. Well, things go wrong when one of those civilians finally reports to Taliban–and the lives of these people are at stake.

It’s surprising that Lone Survivor is able to balance the amount of action and drama within. It’s more than just crossfire and American’s victory since we have a dominant moral dillema that engulfs the war itself. Yet, the packed-action is also convincing. The dust, the explosions, the guns, and the crossfire look so real. The whizzing and booming of firearms sound so clear and close creating a real war atmosphere before us.

The quartet of actors who plays four main protagonists in this movie portray their characters vividly. Even, their wounds look so real and they make it even worse. In some case, dramatization looks so awfully disturbing–making our protagonists an almost superman. They look so die hard they don’t fear of death–extending the absurdity of ‘based-on-true-event’ label.

Well, I’m quite content with what Peter Berg has done here. His expertise on making an action movie has moved to a larger scale in a smaller ground. The ideas of showing the real-life figures of this story in the end of the movie is also an effective idea–leading Lone Survivor away from the pit in which Battleship fell. My appreciation goes to Peter Berg for this ‘not-so-snub’ Navy SEAL flick.

TITLE: Lone Survivor (2013)


GENRE: Action, Drama, Biography / DIRECTOR: Peter Berg / WRITER: Peter Berg (Based on A Book by Marcus Lutrell and Patrick Robinson) / DoP: Tobias Schliessler / FILM EDITOR: Colby Parker Jr / MUSIC: Steve Jablonsky, Explosions in the Sky / CASTS: Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, Yousuf Azami, Eric Bana

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