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Movie Breakdown: Lone Survivor (Noah)

January 9, 2014

Film

People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different.  In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing lead us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all.  Read on!

The Impression:

Peter Berg isn’t exactly on a winning streak right now, what with Battleship cluttering his resume, and then this, some sort of uber-realistic take on the hard-fought battle that lead to the death of, well, a lot of Navy Seals, he just feels further and further away from Friday Night Lights.

The Reality:

There is a much much longer piece that I can, and will, write about how much I hated this film. Four Navy Seals, in all their ab-tastic glory, stumble in to a battle they can’t fight, bullets fly, a lot of wounds are taken, a lot of people die, there is, and I don’t think this is a spoiler, just one survivor. It sounds like any other action film, but Berg tries to steep it in the reality of the trappings of war. Every gun is perfect looking, every bit of camouflage properly painted, we spend seemingly hours with these guys just silently trekking through the woods of Afghanistan, because this is a movie about realistic war. Until it isn’t, until Mark Wahlberg and Taylor Kitsch are saying things like “I’m just sorry we couldn’t kill more of these motherfuckers,” until a little Arab boy is getting confused by the American language and bringing a duck instead of a knife, until the big bad Arab boss character looms large like a one-dimensional monster and we all cheer when someone finally kills him. Lone Survivor isn’t a bad movie, it’s a mediocre one, but Berg takes a step over a pretty important line by taking the benefits of making a realistic film about the horrible casualties that war inflicts upon those we love and marrying it to the silly lines of an action film.

The Lesson:

God I hope this isn’t indicative of the rest of 2014.

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