Lone Survivor, the most recent movie based on American troops fighting the Taliban, would come off as a heavy handed recruiting effort, if it wasnâ€™t so darn sad. Honestly, the movie is a bit like getting beaten over the head with an American flag.
Lone Survivor tells the story of an ill-fated mission to take out Taliban operatives, through the eyes of Marcus Luttrell (Marc Wahlberg), a young Navy Seal about to take part in a dangerous mission. As the title suggests, the mission does not go as planned and only one man is left to tell the tale. The movie is based on a book; which is based on a true story.
But that doesnâ€™t stop it from being about 2 hours worth of propaganda. First, we are introduced to macho men heroes, who only joined the service due to their deep, deep patriotism. No guys trying to pay their college tuition here. No, they are all born leaders who just want to do a service for their country.
Next, it shows the military as all knowing and the soldiers as heavily armed and protected. There werenâ€™t any screw-ups by these soldiers. It was all the enemies and bad lucks fault. [more…]
Finally, we watch as Marcus is sheltered by civilians who are just grateful that big bad America came to save their country.
Maybe I might buy one of these. In a pinch, I could even buy two. But all three?
This is a common theme in war movies designed to recruit idealistic young minds. They show stereotypical hero patriot soldiers, an all knowing armed service, and welcoming civilians who appreciate the Americans coming to save the day.
Hereâ€™s reality. Most soldiers join up for college money, especially when war time bonuses can get into the six figure range. The military screws up all the time, and most soldiers killed are actually killed by friendly fire. Finally, most civilians in a foreign countries flinch when they see the old red, white and blue, because they realize they are about to get bombed.
The damn shame of it all is the fact that this was based on a true story. Unfortunately, in the interest of making it into a cinematic blockbuster, the screenplay writer turned the heroes into caricatures and the plot line into pure exploitation.
Itâ€™s like Saving Private Ryan, only there is really no moral to the story, unless the moral is supposed to be â€˜brown people are bad; white people are goodâ€™. I hope that wasnâ€™t the moral they were going for.
I really hope the dialog isnâ€™t true to life, because if it is, these guys must have memorized a book of clichÃ©s before they went out. Here are a couple of gems from the film;
â€œYou can die for your country â€” I’m going to live for mine.”
â€œThat’s death. Look at deathâ€
In addition, I wish the film makers would have kept in mind that the real men involved in this story had families and friends. Iâ€™m sure those families would have appreciated it if their loved ones had been depicted as something more than cannon fodder.
Watch the trailer below.