Things have been tough for Brian (Bradley Cooper). Having been fired from the US Air Force for his cockiness, he lost his girlfriend Tracy (Rachel McAdams) by a chain of events he doesn't fully understand himself. But when he is recalled back into service by a boss that has a soft spot for him, Brian discovers that his life has to get an awful lot more complicated before it can get simpler. Tasked with overseeing the launch of a weapons satellite from Hawaii, Brian is put in charge of training Allison (Emma Stone) to be both a good pilot, and a valuable member of the air force. But as he begins to reconnect with Tracy, Allison begins to fall for him, leading to Brian having to truly figure out once and for all, just what it is that he wants.
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The title kind of gives away the ending of this harrowing true story, which is worth a look despite its tendency to exaggerate the heroics. But it's also an unusually well-made military thriller that throws us right into the middle of the chaos with visceral filmmaking. And it's impossible to miss the point that these men rely on each other every moment of every day: they certainly can't survive alone.
The events take place in 2005 Afghanistan, where a Navy Seal team is sent into the mountains to find a feared Taliban leader (Azami). These men are like brothers, with Marcus (Wahlberg) leading Mike, Matt and Danny (Kitsch, Foster and Hirsch), under the command of Erik (Bana) back at the base. As they head out on their mission, everything goes to plan until they run into a group of innocent goatherds. Letting them go will compromise their mission, but it's clearly the right thing to do. And this decision sparks an escalating situation that seems increasingly hopeless.
From the very start, we know these Seals aren't normal soldiers: they undergo especially gruelling training and then bond tightly as colleagues, relying on their ruggedness, tenacity and camaraderie. Which of course allows writer-director Berg to portray them as superheroes. This is a problem, because it reduces the Afghans to faceless, murderous villains, at least until the much more complex final act in which an entire village risks its life to save an injured American soldier. And this strikingly moving sequence is the one we remember much more than the chest-pounding patriotism.
Continue reading: Lone Survivor Review
Marcus Luttrell is a member of Navy SEAL Team 10 during a military mission dubbed Operation Red Wings. He and three other SEALs, team leader Lieutenant Mike Murphy, Petty Officer Danny Dietz and Petty Officer Matt Axelson, are charged with reconnaissance and surveillance of brutal Senior Taliban Commander Ahmad Shah and his group of men in the operation which plans to capture or kill him following his killing around 20 marines in the previous weeks. However, it soon becomes obvious that the mission is compromised when Shah's 'small' group of men appears to be more of an army and, when the SEALs attempted to launch a surprise attack on a small group in a nearby woodland, they are forced to liberate them when they realise they are civilians in spite of the obvious danger. When the SEALs find themselves ambushed, they are forced to do everything in their power to protect one another.
'Lone Survivor' is a new war drama based on a true story documented in the book 'Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10' by the real Marcus Luttrell. It has been directed and written by Peter Berg ('Hancock', 'The Kingdom', 'Battleship') and is set for UK release on February 21st 2014.
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Things have been tough for Brian (Bradley Cooper). Having been fired from the US Air...
The title kind of gives away the ending of this harrowing true story, which is...