On June 28, 2005, a team of Navy SEALs based in Afghanistan were issued orders in accordance with Operation Red Wings to locate and terminate a Taliban leader whose militia had been targeting coalition troops in the Kush Mountains of Kunar Province. The four were then dropped by helicopter line into rugged terrain outside the tiny village suspected of harboring Al-Qaida sympathizers.
Soon, the soldiers crossed paths with several shepherds and, against their better judgment, allowed the seemingly innocuous civilians to continue on their way in accordance with the U.S. military’s rules of engagement. Unfortunately, about an hour later, the SEALs found themselves ambushed by over a hundred Taliban fighters who had apparently been tipped off as to their whereabouts.
The ensuing, epic battle is the subject of “Lone Survivor”, a gruesome war flick based on Marcus Luttrell’s (Mark Wahlberg) memoir of the high attrition-rate, harrowing ordeal. Adapted and directed by Peter Berg (Battleship), the picture is most reminiscent of “Black Hawk Down”, another grim film about an American, overseas helicopter operation gone bad.
Given this movie’s title, there isn’t any suspense about how the disastrous misadventure is going to end. Consequently, the viewing experience amounts to little more than squirming in your seat while watching members of Luttrell’s unit perish, as well as over a dozen of the reinforcements sent to try to rescue them.
A practically-pornographic tribute to fearless, fallen heroes strictly for patriots with a strong stomach for gratuitous violence, however accurate.
Good (2 stars)
Rated R for graphic violence and pervasive profanity
Running time: 121 minutes
Distributor: Universal Pictures
To see a trailer for “Lone Survivor”, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cPJ1ifjBDs