Peter Berg’s Lone Survivor has been brought down to probably its simplest form. Lacking character development and a huge script, this is actually what makes this film work. Focusing more on the story of what happened to these men is literally what audiences are getting, and it’s brilliant.
Based on the true story/best selling novel, Lone Survivor follows 4 young NAVY seals on a covert mission to assassinate a Taliban leader, but is ambushed in the mountains of Afghanistan. With no communication to their base and lack of knowledge about the area, they face the challenge of being outgunned by what appears to be an army who isn’t afraid to die for their country/leader.
Without being distracted by a huge budget and becoming mainstream, Berg really does capture the heroism of the NAVY seals and puts the audience in a position where you feel what they feel. It’s actually quite the emotional ride. Adding a great cast consisting of Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Ben Foster and Emile Hirsch, you kind of forget about who these actors are. Hidden behind a mass of facial hair, their performances as the brave seals were fantastic. As mentioned before, there’s not much character development but with this, it wasn’t needed. You still end up caring a hell of a lot for these guys. No one outshines another; it’s more of a team effort. Although Ben Foster does deliver a fantastic line that really was the mood of the film… “You die for your country, I live for mine”.
Berg really gives the characters a bashing. Throwing rocks at them, falling from and through the rocky mountains, getting shot in all different places… It really does get brutal. The injuries are really bloody and one can only imagine that this is what it really was like at the time. In certain instances, it felt like a Call of Duty game, from the first-person shooter angle, to the wave of bullets fired non-stop.
The simplicity of Lone Survivor is really its strong point. It’s just a simple story about surviving without anything overshadowing its purpose. It could almost be a documentary from their point of view. Lone Survivor is a very strong and powerful film with lot of action, frightening in areas and a great pace without the huge Hollywood sign behind it. It’s the one to watch.
4 out of 5 Stars