From the director Peter Berg (The Kingdom, 2007) comes an inspired war story inspired by true events. Marcus Lutrel’s shocking confession was recorded and published in literary form by Patrick Robinson.
Located sometime in late June 2005, the plot focuses on a reconnaissance mission by four members of the elite American Navy Seals unit. The goal of the mission is to determine the location of the infamous Taliban leader Shah and his faithful follower Taraq, and if the opportunity arises, to discreetly liquidate them. But things get out of hand when their position is compromised by local pastors.
The experienced film wolf is again dealing with war issues, this time dealing with the conflict in Afghanistan, in one of the most inaccessible areas on the globe. Told from the point of view of the only surviving Marine (Marcus Luttrell), the narrative is colored by recognizable American patriotism, accompanied by an enviable amount of courage and military sacrifice to carry out the issued orders. Normally, there is a numerically superior enemy embodied in the frantically combative Taliban fanatics. He uses the introductory part of directing to develop the necessary dramaturgy, to ignite fierce action from light tension. I get the impression that this kind of narrative concept served as a good background for later events.
From a technical point of view, it is difficult to find objections. An excellent photograph gives us a vivid depiction of Afghan ravines, cliffs, goat trails and bogs, where a bitter battle was fought for as long as five days. It was filmed in the locations of New Mexico, which achieved some kind of authenticity. The action sequences seem aesthetically refined, but they are shot in a way that looks quite realistic, with the exception of the heroic deaths of American soldiers, with multiple multiple injuries (tough guys, but a joke aside without pathos doesn’t seem to be possible in Hollywood movies). The exchange of enemy fire is really effectively painted, primarily thanks to the good operation of the camera and perfect sound editing.
The acting is quite satisfactory, because the main characters are: Mark Wahlberg (otherwise one of the producers, which is proof of how much he believed in this endeavor), Taylor Kitsch (Taylor Kitsch), Emile Hirsch (Emile Hirsch) and Ben Foster (Ben Foster), provided what was necessary to give us the most credible portrayal of a military mission that did not end as planned. Great musical arrangements are harmoniously placed in the context of the whole story, so that they emphasize all the dramatic moments of this action shooter.
When everything is added and subtracted, it could be said that Peter Berg proved that this subgenre (war film) suits him, because he shot a commercially viable reconstruction of military action. So, he made a dynamic, tense and fun action film with a message, so fans of the genre will probably enjoy it. If we take a neutral stance, which means that we do not look into the recent historical past and do not touch the political background of the presence of the largest military power on the soil of one of the poorest countries in the world, then there is a good chance to accept the film and give it a chance. Otherwise, if you are not able to accept this, it is better to avoid it, because a repulsive attitude taken in advance can only bring you unnecessary frustrations