Lone Survivor

Starring Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster and Eric Bana
Directed by Peter Berg
In UK Cinemas January 31st, 2014

by Joanna Orland

Of course this film dominated the US box office when it was first released.  It is the most patriotic film of recent times – a Navy SEAL Team go on a mission and one by one get killed by the enemy until only one of them survives.  Based on a true story, and true patriotism at its finest.

As you can tell from the poster, Mark Wahlberg plays the lone survivor of his Team in the form of the real life Marcus Luttell.  The use of real footage at the start and end of this film really gives the heartstrings that extra tug that isn’t even required for this story.  There is nothing more cinematically horrible, gruesome or emotional than spending 2 hours watching a group of lovely young American men get slaughtered on the battlefield, except knowing that this happened in real life.  It is not for the faint of heart, or even for a casual cinema-goer.  Albeit not the best film made this year, it is an intense, gripping and emotional film to experience.

The one unique feature that this film has over other true war stories is the musical score.  Normally these films would have an action packed soundtrack or perhaps a more classical score.  Lone Survivor has taken a completely different approach with the ambient band Explosions in the Sky scoring the film with their ethereal post-rock, shoe-gazing soundscapes.  This soundtrack is the defining feature of this film and the reason to see it in the cinema.  A very risky choice for a film soundtrack, but director Peter Berg’s decision to take that risk has truly paid off.

Overall, this film is a solid well-made piece.  Patriots will love it.

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