“Anything in life is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards.”
Well, if that’s what you were aiming for, Peter Berg, you definitely got there.
In the midst of the Zero Dark Thirty hysteria of 2012/13, I was in the same camp as many a film critic (naturally, it’s my favourite film of 2012) – it’s a film that is totally apolitical, anti-military, and anti-torture. As a result of my viewpoint, there was many a time where I’d think of what Zero Dark Thirty would be like if it was a piece of US military propaganda – the raid would be a run in, peppering the place with bullets as triumphant music plays, before it’s all over in two minutes and the SEALS cheer their way out of the house, practically popping the champagne.
Lone Survivor is like someone took all my half-joking, half-serious descriptions of Zero Dark Thirty from a pro-military angle and made a film of it. This is the Part of Me music video of films. It’s shamelessly jingoistic from the outset, filled with unnecessary opening and closing montages of photos of the real people. For the majority of the runtime, I had absolutely no clue what was happening, all I could catch was nonsensical conversations about horses, interior decorating, and Anchorman; Eric Bana in Birkenstocks; people getting shot in the feet many times; and lots of yelling of “ARE YOU TALIBAN?!”
The dialogue might as well have been mumbled, because on the whole, Lone Survivor is an incoherent, trigger happy, military-bankrolled slog of two hours, elevated by some good cinematography, sound, and makeup until whacks you over the head with a mind-numblingly dumb line like “WHERE ARE THE F***ING APACHES?!” and it’s back to square one. When a film like this is so terrible, and blatantly has a manipulate ulterior motive (although there’s nothing subtle about the fact it wants a bunch of young men to join the army), it’s hard to muster much of an interest in it.
Yvan eht nioj indeed.
Lone Survivor received a wide release starting on February 20.
MA (strong bloody violence and coarse language), 121 mins.