Lone Survivor



It took me quite a while to see Peter Berg's latest feature Lone Survivor because his meaty and masculine films (among them Friday Night Lights, The Kingdom) strike me as a smidge too earnest. True to form, Lone Survivor is brimming with decency and honor and a bloody intensity that has become de rigueur for contemporary war movies, that is, "support our troops" while damning greed and hubris. Mark Wahlberg heads a quartet of handsomely rugged (ruggedly handsome) actors (Taylor Kitsch, Ben Foster [the best actor among them] and Emile Hirsch) who play real life Navy Seals on a mission in Afghanistan to take out a particularly loathsome Taliban chief. The mission is compromised, however, when they capture an elderly goatherder and two boys, one of whom would clearly reveal the team's location if released. The squad's leader Murphy (played with stolid brio by Kitsch) decides to do the decent thing and that, of course, seals their fate. (The title of the movie and book from which the screenplay was adapted is a spoiler.) Neither Berg nor Wahlberg would have signed onto a film that did not, in the end, be uplifting and life-affirming, despite its grim bloodiness. That's just how they roll.

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