Mark Whalberg dons his military uniform in Peter Berg‘s adaptation of the book Lone Survivor. A military film of this scope hasn’t been seen in quite a while, Jarhead and Hurt Locker being the most easily memorable military films. Therefore the viewing is met with a refreshed head. Modern warfare isn’t often, properly, tackled (Battleship is not an example of a modern-warfare film) so generally it is welcome.
Lone Survivor seems to fly by despite it’s 2 hour running time. However though the story is enjoyable the film struggles with balancing itself between ‘gun-ho-pro-american’ and ‘war is not glorious or fun’ territories. Several scenes towards the start are brilliantly done, reminiscent of that of Black Hawk Down yet the struggle comes when the action starts in proper. The action scenes are well done but the attempted characterisation begins to feel diminished as the bullets start flying and the slow-motion begins, watching the ‘falling down the hill scene’ is an example of this… and then the second one guarantees this point.
What began as a seemingly emotional tale eventually dissolved into a relatively stereotypical action flick. Whilst still enjoyable the ultimate satisfaction was never reached, and the true story was told in a relatively generic way. The components were there, but when it came to assembly the rifle failed to fire efficiently.
Verdict – 3.5/5