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By Jayne Waterford
Copyrighted © Jayne Waterford, 2014 Revised: 4th July 2014
Revised: 4th January 2015
REVIEW: "LONE SURVIVOR" by Jayne Waterford

Peter Berg's "LONE SURVIVOR" (2014) is a dramatisation, indeed a glorification, of the lives of many Navy frog men cut short in one operation held in a poor communication zone in Afghanistan. The film is well attended by many fit, young men in the middle of the day.

Our story focuses on a tight, bearded, group and one newbie under the command of Erik Kristensen (Eric Bana). Bana plays the part as if he is a little eaten away by circumstances. It is very respectful. A group of four frogmen are sent in to take out a Taliban leader. They conduct surveillance, are stumbled upon and compromised by three men herding goats, argue demonstrably about if they would or should kill them and end up on a rock slide in a valley, turkeys sitting pretty.

The story is devastating. What happens to these men, the number of wounds they each sustain before they are killed, the fact that they are trapped on a landslide in a valley and that their situation is like being in a turkey shoot. That whole helicopters full of men are wiped out in one strike. Likewise, the over costuming and over the top make-up on the three

herdsmen that propel their story, ramming home the fact that these three men are human, is very strong. It made the fluster that took place when the soldiers were arguing for killing them despite restrictions almost superfluous thought their survival was our hero's undoing.

The most interesting part of the story for me were the villagers who found (Wahlberg), the lone survivor. They upheld their tradition of Pashtunwali honourably protecting their guest, even against the local Taliban militia, even though we had seen the Taliban behead someone in their village early in the film. It read like a wake up moment for the film's intended audience Homeland USA.

Our heroes sustain very credible wounds. They really take some killing.

It's a film about permission and tragic consequences. It seems to be made in the spirit of Mouse McCoy & Scott Waugh 's "ACTS OF VALOR" (2012) but has a much classier outcome. You can't help but be moved by Marcus Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg)'s historical tragedy. 6/10

Copyrighted ©: Jayne Waterford, 2014.

Peter Berg's
Director Peter Berg
Producers Peter Berg, Sarah Aubrey, Randall Emmett, Norton Herrick, Barry Spikings, Akiva Goldsman, Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson, Vitaly Grigoriants
Stars Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, Ali Suliman, Alexander Ludwig and Eric Bana
Release Date 20th February 2014
Category Action-Drama
Running Time
Origin USA
Coda No, though there are historical snap shots of the real people shown against the actors.
Distributor Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Australia
Official Blurb "Based on The New York Times
bestselling true story of heroism, courage and survival, "LONE SURVIVOR" tells the incredible tale of four Navy SEALs on a covert mission to neutralize a high-level al-Qaeda operative who are ambushed by the enemy in the mountains of Afghanistan. Faced with an impossible moral decision, the small band is isolated from help and surrounded by a much larger force of Taliban ready for war. As they confront unthinkable odds together, the four men find reserves of strength and resilience as they stay in the fight to the finish.

Mark Wahlberg stars as Marcus Luttrell, the author of the first-person memoir "LONE SURVIVOR", whose book has become a motivational resource for its lessons on how the power of the human spirit is tested when we are pushed beyond our mental and physical limits. Starring alongside Wahlberg as the other members of the SEAL team are Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch and Ben Foster.

"LONE SURVIVOR" is written and directed by Peter Berg, who again crafts a striking portrait of the unbreakable bonds between men that he first explored in Friday Night Lights." - Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Australia PR