ACTION; 2hr 1min
STARRING: Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, Eric Bana
Stranded: from left, Foster, Hirsch and Wahlberg
The documentary footage of US Navy SEAL training in Lone Survivor ’s opening credits shows a boot camp for ironman crazies. But as the following scenes of the film’s actor SEALs kicking back in 2005 at Afghanistan’s Bagram Air Base take care to reveal, these crazies are regular guys, as well, with loved ones to tend to and all that domestic jazz.
Except that regular guys don’t go after a senior Taliban operative (Yousuf Azami) with the catlike stealth of elite beasts the way that “brothers” Marcus Luttrell (Wahlberg), Michael Murphy (Kitsch), Danny Dietz (Hirsch) and Matt Axelson (Foster) do. And when their operation is compromised and radio contact is lost, leaving them stranded and outnumbered in hostile country, regular guys would tend to freak.
While heavily charged with humanity, filmmaker Peter Berg’s own-the-moment direction, based on Luttrell’s from life account, spares no skull-smushing detail: the avid cast members hurl themselves at impossible obstacles until the men they’re playing are open wounds. It’s heart-rending to see them ripped apart in what feels like actual time, especially when they refuse to acknowledge defeat, even as it stares impassively at them through the sights of a gun.