A Playground for Authors Jason White and Michael Schutz-Ryan

War Ensemble: Thoughts on Lone Survivor

This has been a crazy week, and it’s only going to get crazier. At school, we have four big assignments due this coming week. And here I am, procrastinating, watching movies. Tonight, however, I watched a movie that affected me more than I thought it would. Granted, there were a few beers involved, and that always influences emotions, but damn it all if this movie wasn’t powerful.

I’m speaking of Lone Survivor, Staring Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, and Ben Foster. Directed by Peter Berg. Now, it’s no secret that I love war history and realistic war movies, it is a passion of mine as much as horror movies is, and Lone Survivor did not disappoint. It was like Saving Private Ryan (Finally a decent comparison to the Spielberg classic) meets Black Hawk Down in the mountains of Afghanistan. It surprised me in that I had no idea what I was in for when I went in to it. Which is always very welcome.

Pretty quickly you get an idea that you’re in for something serious. There’s a segment at the very beginning showcasing what looks like to be a realistic Navy Seal boot camp, the grunts forced to do the craziest exercises, pushing themselves far beyond what most real humans are capable of doing. All this just to become a Navy Seal.

I’m telling you right now, I would have been one of the poor fuckers who put their helmet on the porch. I would have said fuck this long ago and given up. Nothing is worth what those men went through in training alone, if those videos were real (considering that none of the actors were in it, I suspect that they might have been real indeed, if not a realistic recreation). There’s something in a Navy Seal (hell, in my case, any military man or woman–I’m such a wimp) that does not exist in other people. They have to prove themselves beyond what the average human is capable of enduring.

In my mind, that’s just crazy. In those first training camp scenes, the almost satirical  words “American Super Soldier!”, kept repeating in my mind. But then the movie starts and you meet the characters.

There’s no real plot points here to solve or spoil. This is a straight up war movie set in modern time Afghanistan and is dedicated to the men who died during the real life mission. The movie is based on the book Sole Survivor by Marcus Luttrell, one of the men who was on that mountain and, well, survived. I don’t know much about the book as I have yet to read it. Key word there is ‘yet’ as, even though Luttrell was involved a lot in the making of the movie, I want to read how different the book is from the movie. There’s always differences.

I digress.

There’s a point int he movie where the characters come to a serious moral dilemma. What they choose to do in that moment effects the outcome rest of the movie.

Let’s just say that when the bullets begin to fly, they don’t stop. At all.

Best of all, the grenades and rpg rounds don’t have fire in them.

What this movie managed to do for me was make me care about and feel as though I was somehow apart of the men on that mountain, even though I couldn’t be removed more from what they experienced. I don’t know how exactly the director, writers, and actors achieved this, but they did and there were points that were difficult to watch.

To sum up, a huge number of people came together to make this real life experience that was logged into a book and made into a movie. The acting was really well done. Surprising since Marky Mark is in. The direction, stunts, and everything else met the challenge of creating something realistic. Something that is part of our terrible existence. It’s the dark side of humanity. War. Utter violence against people we don’t know, all because of a political belief, a religious stance, a role one has no choice but to follow until the terrible end.

Go watch this movie. If you’re into this kind of thing as I am, then I’m pretty sure you won’t be disappointed.

Lone Survivor Poster Art

Lone Survivor Poster Art



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