FEBRUARY 28, 2014

Taut and effective, LONE SURVIVOR is a solid film that is at times gut wrenching and challenging to watch. 

But why in God’s name did they call this film LONE SURVIVOR?! 

The title is such a spoiler that it releases a lot of the tension because you know that Mark Wahlberg is going to survive and everyone else will die. I believe I would have been even more on the edge of my seat had I not known that. 

Based on actual events, it follows four Navy Seals (Wahlberg, Ben Foster, Emile Hirsch and Taylor Kitsch) as they attempt to take out a high-level Taliban operative. Unfortunately, due to a difficult decision during the mission, their position is compromised and they are ambushed. Pinned down their only hope is if they can get word to the base, which is miles away. 

Directed by Peter Berg (redeeming himself from the dreadful BATTLESHIP), the film does an excellent job of introducing us to the characters and making us care about them as human beings and not just lambs to the slaughter. Adding to this is the top-notch acting by everyone on screen. 

Once the gun battle begins, it is so exhausting that you feel like you’re in the thick of it with them. Berg doesn’t hold back with the violence and the bloodshed. Effectively realized by KNB FX (who get an opening credit), the make-up FX are hard to watch and add to the realism. 

I enjoyed LONE SURVIVOR much more than I expected. My only complaint is that the film’s unfortunate title robbed me of a much more emotionally effective experience.


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