Lone Survivor (2014)

TMG Scale 10.0  MPAA Rating: R
Starring  Mark Wahlberg, Ben Foster, Emile Hirsch

Riveting. Best film of the year.  Best war tribute since Saving Private Ryan (1998). This movie will grind your humanity to the core and keep you cringing in your seat as you experience the reality of war with no lines, no clear rules of engagement, no clear outcomes…just the clarity of life and death. If you don’t applaud, cry and then go hug a soldier after seeing this film, you may be from Boulder or just over drugged, … or both (apologies for being redundant).

Last night was pretty full.  I read part of Robert Gates book, Duty and then attended the funeral of a good friend named John— a WWII hero. I saw John’s  purple heart, his bronze star. You don’t get those things for sitting on the sidelines in college philosophy class. John survived to raise many fine children and inspire others. My Dad the same. No combat decorations for my Dad but the jungles of New Guinea were not exactly a day in the basement playing Xbox and eating pizza. Then I headed off to see Lone Survivor. My conclusion: War sucks big time. It may be necessary,  but everyone from the President on down better be on board 180%. We don’t put young men and women in harms way unless we are in extreme jeopardy of life and liberty. Because some men (and women)  survive, some do not. The survivors carry their fallen comrades for life, one way or another.

The film is  based on real life account of Marcus Luttrell in “Operation Red Wings”  Afghanistan, 2005. The operation tasked four members of SEAL Team 10 to kill Taliban leader Ahmad Shah. They are poorly supported with communications more faulty than a Comcast cable box. These were regular young guys with girlfriends and a life at home and everything to live for. America’s best young men. Then they encounter and old man, a young child and several goat herders at the wrong place at the wrong time. Now everyone’s life is in jeopardy. Suddenly duty, honor, country, right, wrong ….and basic human instincts to survive get very confused. Another great film, Casualties of War (1989) came to mind.

I do not recommend this film for the weak of heart or for parents of current soldiers. Horrors of war should left off the table for some folks. This is not a film for the under 14 crowd. But every politician and wimp in this country that thinks political tricks and traffic jams are more important than our soldiers and ambassadors from Benghazi to Bagram should be strapped in a seat and forced to watch this film four or five times. I’ll buy Hillary a ticket.

God Bless America tonight. God bless these self described “hard-bodied, hairy-chested,rootin’- tootin’ shootin’, parachutin’ demolition double-cap crimpin’ frogman.” You have to have that type of attitude and sense of humor to face what they face. Remember that and say a prayer for them next time you take a free walk in your local park. And go see this film. Not up to it?  Contribute a few hundred dollars to The Wounded Warriors Project.

 

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