Actor/Director Peter Berg gets behind the camera for the gripping true story about a small group of Navy Seals that are forced to fight for their lives when a covert mission goes terribly wrong. Based on the bestselling book “Lone Survivor” written by Marcus Luttrell, the sole team member who lived to tell the story. What these men went through that day was tragic and the fact that even a single member survived seems like a miracle.
When Marcus Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg), Michael Murphy (Taylor Kitsch), Danny Dietz (Emile Hirsch), & Matt Axelson (Ben Foster) are sent a covert mission to neutralize an al-Qaeda operative, things begin to go sideways when local villagers stubble upon them in the mountains. After capturing these villagers, they make the moral decision to let them go and fall back instead of killing them. Unfortunately, after letting the villagers go, one of them runs and quickly lets the Taliban know that Americans are close by. Pretty soon the isolated soldiers are ambushed and forced to fight with every ounce of resilience they have. They do not fight to protect themselves, they fight to protect each other and that is where Berg and the cast really do a great job getting that across to the audience.
Even though the title “Lone Survivor” tells you up front how this story will end, we still find ourselves hoping they all make it out of this alive. Wahlberg does give a strong performance here, especially in the final act, but its Foster, Hirsch, and Kitsch who really bring it. After a series of major big budget flops like “John Carter”, “Battleship”, and “Savages”, I am glad to see Kitsch in a film that will most likely find an audience and that doesn’t suck.
“Lone Survivor” is an inspiring film, but also very brutal. These men went through absolute hell and when the audience is given a chance to care about the characters, it makes it all the more painful to watch. Still, this is definitely one worth checking out.
By: Marc Ferman