Lone Survivor Blu-rayFrom its opening moments, Lone Survivor gets what it means to work hard and become a Navy SEAL. It gets the environment that the boys live and work in, it gets the dialogue of men living for too long with no women in their lives, it gets the characters and the camaraderie. When things start going south for the four-man team, Lone Survivor hits the right notes, too.
As its title implies, Lone Survivor is about a mission-gone-wrong in Afghanistan where things start to go haywire and only one man makes it out. The point of the story is not to find out who makes it through; Director Peter Berg makes the interesting point of letting us know Marcus Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg) is the man holding the lucky ticket at the very start of the film. This bold choice is actually effective. Since Lone Survivor is based on a joint military action called Operation Red Wings, many people were already familiar with the outcome before the movie hit theaters. What makes Lone Survivor so special is Berg’s treatment of his characters, allowing us to get invested in their lives before they are ripped apart.
Those characters are played by a bunch of fine young actors. Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch and Ben Foster all went through brief phases where they were considered to be leading men. However, they are great in supporting roles in Lone Survivor, playing Lieutenant Murphy, Danny Dietz and "Axe" Axelson, respectively. Before the fighting really sets in, Lone Survivor is really a "bro" movie about surviving under tough circumstances, and each are a good fit for the gig.
Lone Survivor isn’t a life changing movie. It won’t change a viewer’s perspective on war or politics. However, it might give audiences a greater appreciation of what the military is often tasked with doing far away from the general safety of the United States. Tough decisions have to be made and operations are sometimes botched. Lone Survivor may not be a 100% accurate portrayal of the events during Operation Red Wings, but it does get the high stakes and the emotionality right. It’s a tear inducing movie that is worth investing in.
Best Special Feature: Lone Survivor ends with a tribute to the fallen soldiers in the film, but the extras on the disc look deeper into the relationship Berg’s movie has with the real-life people the story is about. If you are already invested in Lone Survivor, "The Fallen Heroes of Operation Red Wings" is one to watch. In the segment, you hear from the parents of the fallen and the actors who spent a lot of time trying to portray the characters exactly right.
Other Bonus Features:
"Will of the Warrior"
"Bringing the Story to Light"
"Recreating the Firefight"
"Learning the Basics"
"The Pashtun Code of Life"