Movie Review: Lone Survivor


Movie Review: Lone Survivor

Lone Survivor, the agonizing true story of a Navy SEAL mission gone wrong in the mountains of Afghanistan, will be the next film to be featured in the Campus Activities Board’s ongoing series of movie nights on campus. Rated R, the action-packed modern war film will be shown in the Phelps Theatre tonight and tomorrow at 7p.m.. Students who attend the event will be able to watch the film before it is released on Blu-ray and DVD and will also be able to simulate the traditional movie-going experience with free candy and drinks provided by the CAB office.

Though the film’s exposition scenes may often become confusing due to some unnecessary quick cuts and the occasional lack of layman’s terms, the film quickly moves past these issues once the characters actually embark on their mission. Unfortunately, due to the film’s title, Lone Survivor, and the true nature of the story, viewers are left to watch the rest of the movie with the ending already spoiled for them and with the element of surprise denied to them since they already know the mission’s outcome.

Regardless, the film still manages to keep audiences on the edge of their seats with its tense action sequences and surprising performances. Mark Wahlberg’s portrayal of Petty Officer First Class Marcus Luttrell proves to be one of his best in recent years especially since he finally drops his usual machismo act in order to play real human emotion for once.

The film’s action, however, is likely the most appealing aspect of the film. Tense, bloody, occasionally violent, well executed and benefiting greatly from the audiences’ knowledge that what they are seeing actually happened to these people, these non-stop sequences not only make up the bulk of the film, but provide the most suspenseful thrills the audience could ask for from a war movie.

However, some of these sequences also border on the unrealistic, despite being based on a true story. A reason for this could be the nature of the source material. It is important to remember that the story is based almost entirely on Luttrell’s first-hand account of the events, and not everything that happens in the film is 100% accurate since there were parts of the story he simply could not know since he was not there to see the events transpire himself.

Also keep in mind that due to the chaotic, fast-paced nature of the situation, a lot of his account may not necessarily contain the most accurate details to begin with, but rather his perception of the situation and how things felt to him. For instance, at two points in the film, Wahlberg and the other members of his team take seemingly impossible-to-walk-away-from tumbles down the side of a mountain that show the actors smashing their heads and overall bodies against multiple trees and boulders at increasing speeds  only to get up, barely dazed, and without broken bones. The dramatization of these brutal falls may not be truly accurate depictions of their actual falls in real life, but may instead be overdramatized to reflect how these two falls were both percieved by Luttrell and how they may have physically felt to him at the time.

Even with this potential downside, Lone Survivor is still a truly gripping tale that not only keeps the audiences’ eyes glued to the screen, but also makes them feel truly painful inklings of the hell these men went through in the name of their country.