Review

Late on the night of June 27, 2005, a Special Operations Aircraft inserted, a four-man Navy SEAL reconnaissance and surveillance team between a pair of Afghanistan mountain peaks. Their mission was labeled Operation Red Wing.

Adapted from the non-fiction book “Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10,” "Lone Survivor" tells the true story of Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell’s harrowing five-day journey across Afghanistan after the Redwing operation he and his team were on went disastrously wrong.

"Lone Survivor"opens with Luttrell (Mark Walhberg) being removed from a Black Hawk helicopter and flatlining on a hospital recovery table. After flashing back to give us some back story and introducing the various characters Luttrell and his Navy Seal team of three ( LT Michael P. Murphy (Taylor Kitsch), Danny Dietz (Emile Hirsch), and Matthew Axelson (Ben Foster), are dropped onto the slopes of Sawtalo Sar Mountain in Afghanistan’s Kunar Province for surveillance and reconnaissance. Their mission is to monitor a village said to be occupied by Ahmad Shah and his group of Taliban fighters.

After scouting the terrain and failing to find a good strong radio signal they settle down for a rest. Unfortunately whilst doing so they are discovered by three shepherds who are herding goats in the area. The Seals are then left with a dilemma,kill the shepherds or release them in the knowledge that they will give their presence away to the Taliban. After a brief argument where each has their different viewpoint team leader LT Michael P. Murphy (Taylor Kitsch) makes the fateful decision that sets not only his own team but others who are drawn into the conflict on a course with disaster and tragedy.

What follows is a 30-minute firefight as the Seals try and escape the hordes of Taliban fighters who are swarming over the mountainside. Writer/director Peter Berg (Battleship,The Kingdom) brings us some of the most brutal and harrowing fight scenes put on film since the very similar themed "Black Hawk Down". Lutterll and his team desperately throw themselves off cliffs in order to escape bullets that fly around in all directions, wounds are captured in stark close-ups, and tumbles down Afghanistan’s rocky hills make use of slow-motion to highlight the bone-on-stone impacts.

If there is one fault with the film it is in the final third where,and it's given nothing away as the final outcome is given away in the worst spoiler of a title ever, Luttrell is taken in by some afghan villagers. The battle between the villagers and the Taliban hoards feel like it's from a different film after the gut wrenching violence that proceeded it and Luttrells final extraction feels a bit rushed and convenient.

However this takes nothing away from a powerful movie made all the more harrowing by the final images of all those soldiers who died after one soldier made a fateful decision on a barren mountainside far from home.



Lone Survivor (15)

2h 1m

Director: Peter Berg 
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, Ali Suliman, Alexander Ludwig, Eric Bana

UK Release: Friday 31st January 2014






Lone Survivor: 10 Minute Preview

Lone Survivor:  "A Look Inside" Featurette