Lone Survivor: An intense, fascinating biopic

Gary Wolcott, atomictown.comJanuary 9, 2014 

Lone Survivor is an action biopic based on the story of Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, who is the only survivor of a botched attempt to kill a notorious Taliban leader in Afghanistan.

The incident took place in 2005. SEAL Team 10 is trying to spot and take out the terrorist when they are discovered by goat herders. Because they are deemed noncombatants, the herders are released. Once back in their village, they inform the Taliban about the team.

A couple of hours later, the Taliban locate the SEALs, and all hell breaks loose.

The always-buff and interesting Mark Wahlberg plays Luttrell. Ben Foster, Emile Hirsch and Taylor Kitsch play members of Luttrell's team. Eric Bana is their commander. The back-and-forth banter and chemistry between the actors is terrific and very believable. They're exceptional performances, but the real star of the film is director Peter Berg, who wrote the screenplay based on Luttrell and Patrick Robinson's book.

Berg (best known as an actor in TV's Chicago Hope and who directed Battleship in 2012) has an uncanny ability to produce believable action sequences. This one is an intense, nail-chewing experience from the discovery of the team by the goat herders to Luttrell's rescue.

The movie's problem is one faced by most directors doing a military biopic. Berg fails to realize that less is more. Some of Lone Survivor's action sequences could use a trim. There are places in the introduction of the characters that aren't necessary.

It's a minor criticism. The story is fascinating and, if nothing else, demonstrates what the best of the best of America's military deal with on an almost-daily basis.

Director: Peter Berg

Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Ben Foster, Emile Hirsch, Taylor Kitsch, Eric Bana

Mr. Movie rating: 4 stars

Rated R for mature themes, language, extreme violence. It's playing at Regal's Columbia Center 8, the Fairchild Cinemas 12 and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.

5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen

4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.

3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.

2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.

0 stars: Speaks for itself.

Tri-City Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service