Ricky's Film Reviews

Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases

Lone Survivor

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June 2005.

Marcus Luttrell and his team of Navy SEALS embark on a mission to capture or kill Taliban leader Ahmad Shah.

But their mission is about to turn nasty.

Very nasty…

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Cast

Mark Wahlberg – Marcus Luttrell

Taylor Kitsch – Michael Murphy

Emile Hirsch – Danny Dietz

Ben Foster – Matt Axelson

Eric Bana – Eric Kristensen

 

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Not Bad

 I have to say, Lone Survivor wasn’t overly bad. As much as I find movies of this genre tedious (due to their long, drawn-out scenes and the only action happening being gun shots) I was entertained enough. It wasn’t an amazing war story, but it wasn’t hideous – it just seemed to flow. It takes off pretty quickly with the characters being introduced all at once, before they embark on their Navy mission. And once they’re out in the mountains, we’re dished nice portions of ‘shoot-em-up’ action as the boys are pursued by some nasty people..

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Rockface Chase

The scene where the SEALS are being hunted by their enemies was the best scene in the movie I thought. From the second a single member of the Taliban appears from behind a tree, all Hell breaks loose. Because what begins and ends in a “we got him” scenario, suddenly erupts into a terrifying game of Cat & Mouse..

A gun fight and chase takes place. And it is violent.

Very violent.

Our boys are literally pushed over the edge as they jump, fall and tumble their way down the mountain they were stationed on. This bit was shocking; I gasped in horror as I watched their bodies crunch, crack and snap as they hit the sharp rocks on the way down..

This scene kept me hooked. I had my eyes fixed to the screen throughout and kept uttering, “come on, come on..” as I lapped up the brilliantly tense atmosphere. I won’t lie – although this part of the movie is intriguing, it goes on for quite a while. Bit of a 50/50 response from me on this; great action – bit too long. But I thought this was Lone Survivor‘s best, most captivating scene.

 

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“Phone’s Dead”

One thing that REALLY gets on my tits in thrillers / action movies, is when a main character picks up the nearest telephone – be it mobile or fixed landline – and utters those fateful words: “…s’dead”.

Because it just doesn’t (usually) happen, does it – wherever a person is in the world, there is normally a fully functioning telephone. I mean Christ, I was ice-trekking in Iceland for my 27th birthday – and still managed to send a text message from the top of a glacier.

..it happens in Lone Survivor.

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The crew’s comms and satellite devices cut connection, leaving them unable to speak to the people at their control base. I exhaled a sigh of, “for fuck sake – a house telephone is one thing, but these guys have communication devices produced by the bloody US Navy” at this. I’m no expert, but I assume the US Navy would have equipment built to withstand all sorts of areas / weather, etc.

Picky little fucker aren’t I

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Scenery & Setting

 The scenery in this movie was bloody beautiful. At first, we’re at the boys camp on the ground, but as soon as they’re up in the mountains, we’re taken to a whole new level.

Vast, giant rocky mountains lined with pine trees – doesn’t sound a lot, but its an eyeful once you see it. The mountains are so high off the ground its dizzying, and they jut out into the atmosphere dangerously. There are some lovely camera angles too, as it pans out across the mountains and exposes some gorgeous shots.

Whether special effects were used or not, the graphics are crystal clear and breathtaking – giving the overall story a ‘beautiful but deadly’ atmosphere.

 

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Invincible

Are members of the US Navy trained to lose the feeling in their bodies? Because during the gun fight scene, they all get a ‘popping’ – but there isn’t much reaction to it.

Crouched behind a gigantic rock, one of the boys is shot in the shoulder. But he makes no reaction to the injury and keeps on shooting! Perhaps its adrenaline taking over; cancelling out any feeling and rendering him numb.. I’m certainly not an expert on the functionality of the US Navy Seals, but Christ – being shot, blood flying everywhere, and not even letting out a scream – what’s that about?! Are these people invincible or something?

See if you can spot what I mean.

 

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What’s Next?

This movie kept me intrigued. Wondering what was going to happen next. This was one of its better elements; I sat there engrossed in great pieces of action happening on screen whilst wondering what on earth was going to happen next. The setting and the scene made this a good movie – a group of men being hunted through the trees. Lots of hiding, ducking, sitting waiting in silence…

Brilliant, and kept me anticipating the next move. I enjoyed this element.

 

 

 

Squeamers Beware

Without giving too much of the plot away, there is a part of the movie where Marcus (Wahlberg) ends up in a foreign household in the desert. Injured, he sits down and attempts to remove the shards of metal his leg is impaled with.

..and its a fucking squeamer of a scene.

I normally don’t mind a bit of blood, but I was writhing in my seat as he pulled the metal slowly from the squelchy oblivion. With each “splutch” my mouth dropped open a little further – I was proper wriggling. Ewwww!

So yes, if you’re a squeamer – you have been warned.

 

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Duck-Knife

The only – and I mean ONLY – part of Lone Survivor that made the audience laugh out loud is where Marcus is in a house, trying to operate on his leg. He asks a little foreign boy for a knife. The little boy can’t work out what this strange, bloodied man is asking for and stands staring at Marcus, as he chants “knife, knife!” whilst he makes a cutting action with his hands.

The little boy leaves the room.

..and returns with a duck.

The reaction from Marcus stirred LOL’s from around the audience, and brought a much needed brief moment of comic relief.

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Why?

 As I sat watching a certain chracter bleeding to death, sputtering to a fellow Seal to tell his wife how much he loves her, my first reaction was WHY?”

Why do they do it?

How can I ask this without sounding naive and disrespectful?..

Why would a grown man look into the adoring eyes of his wife – as she smiles at him – and say goodbye? Imagine his beautiful little child looking up at him, big sad eyes welling up, as he kisses him / her goodbye. WHY would a man purposely leave his family behind, knowing that he might be returning in a coffin?!

Again, call me naive or disrespectful – but for Christ sake. You have a beautiful woman who loves you, and a child who dotes on you – yet you’re jetting off to take part in activities which may ultimately kill you, and destroy their lives in the process. I understand the whole “doing it for my country”, but why do these men do it to their families?

It genuinely frustrates me, that these men feel empowered by killing others in a different country and that they went through marriage, having children, etc. only to turn round and say, “I’m off, I might die, thanks for the memories”.

On one hand you’ve gained the respect of your fellow colleagues and some of your country, on the other – you created a life with loved ones which you’re basically throwing away..

Please note: The above statement is my own opinion on the Navy not influenced by anyone else. I am not experienced in the Navy at all, so hold limited facts about it. This statement is my personal overview on the subject. Etc.

 

 

Lone Survivor – With A Lot Of Company

 When I first saw the poster / trailer for this movie, I assumed Mark’s character would be fighting for his life – all by himself – lost in the terrifying wilderness kind of thing. But to be honest, he is surrounded by fellow soldiers up until the final 5-10 minutes. I prepared myself for a “shit, he’s completely stranded by himself” sort of flick – no such luck. The movie lacked this element.

 

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Overall, Lone Survivor is raw. Brutal. Gritty. It is basically one of those ‘Help The Heroes’ style flicks dedicated to those who fight or have fought in the Navy, etc. (complete with a photo slideshow in the credits at the end). In its short screen time, it manages to entertain as well as provide an insight into a completely different world of work.

It reminded me of a movie you see on an airplane which acts as a time-filler that you end up enjoying. This movie is boiling with blood, rage, death, violence. But it takes these elements and blends them together to produce a watchable piece of film in on tight timescale.

I don’t think I’d watch it again, it wasn’t the most amazing thing I’ve seen. Watch it, let it go. Once is enough.

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5/10

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This entry was posted on February 6, 2014 by .
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