The Harbinger Online

A Lone Standout

Screen shot 2014-02-11 at 12.35.28 PMI love America.

That’s the phrase “Lone Survivor” is intending to make you think as you walk out of the theatre. Director Peter Berg’s objective is clear throughout the movie — to side-arm propaganda at you to make you believe that the United States has the most generous, and greatest soldiers mankind has ever seen. Frankly, it achieves this goal.

When I say it’s a story of four Navy SEALs that fight hundreds of Taliban, it shouldn’t come to you as a surprise that only one seal survives to tell the tale — the name of the movie is “Lone Survivor” for Pete’s sake. So it also wouldn’t surprise you to believe that the three men’s deaths are glori- fied to a scale that is almost godlike. These men take bullets to the legs and torso like it’s a baseball, while Taliban mem- bers take a bullet to the stomach and are out cold. It genuinely gives you a sense that these men are superhumans, and are able to train their minds to believe that there is no such thing as pain. As these men take their last, shallow breaths, they are literally glowing. It sends the message that war has ennobled them.

Berg also gives you a genuine glimpse into war as a Navy SEAL. These rare machines of men are bred to kill at all cost.

As striking down his enemy, this is radiated as one of the men whispers, “I’ll live for my country and you can die for yours,” and, “I am the reaper.” They are miraculous killers when put on the battle field, yet Berg does a beautiful job to show that these men also have lives — they worry about their wives, sons, daughters and even paint for the inside of their living rooms. He also gives you a vision to the brotherhood of the SEALs. Fighting, and dying by each other’s side is their only sanctuary. They truly take it as an honor to die side-by-side with their brothers whom they have nearly died tens of times in training with.

The plot of the movie is simple — Mark Wahlburg plays Luttrell, the only survivor (barely) of the operation to take down a Taliban leader, who has killed nearly 40 Navy SEALs. Lutrell is accompanied by team leader Michael “Murph” Murphy (Taylor Kitsch), gunner’s mate Danny “Danny boy” Dietz (Emile Hirsch), and sonar ace Mathew “Axe” Axelson (Ben Foster). The men come upon a problem, as three Taliban farmers lead their sheep into the men’s camp. Now, their choice has to be to set these men free, and hope they can get to high ground before hundreds of Taliban come after them. At this point, the mission to take down the Taliban leader is

foiled. Yet, because of inability to communicate with base, these four men are stranded on the side of a mountain, about to be in an epic gunfight. The next 45 minutes involves a battle scene that is paralleled to that of Saving Private Ryan. The four men take bullet after bullet while killing around 15- 20 Taliban each. In order to stay alive, they voluntarily haul themselves off cliffs, and literally rub dirt into their wounds, all the while never losing hope — never losing their hope that they will get home. Yet, the deaths of three of the men come, and Luttrell is forced to surviving by his lonesome.

Being a huge fan of war movies, and a far right wing kind of guy, “Lone Survivor” is right up my alley. The movie’s pa- triotism suggests it’s pro-war thinking, yet also sheds light onto the good in the Afghan people — Luttrell is helped by an Afghan man, and this man is seen by the viewer as a hero, without which Luttrell would surely be dead. Yet, if you’re not one to take cuts, bone crushing falls, bullet wounds, and blood, I wouldn’t recommend watching Lone Survivor, because I guarantee you’ll see plenty of it. Yet, if you want to see a well-done representation of a real life event, intended to shed light on brave men who died, I have to say I’d fully recommend it.

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