The Lone Survivor: Outnumbered in The Front Line

Live to tell the story.
Live to tell the story.

To tell you the truth I thought this movie will contain less gore and more drama, at least that’s what I’m expecting when I watched the trailer. Turns out the screenplay shoved plenty of gory scenes, which was made complete by the excellent acting from Wahlberg and Co.

Synopsis

The entire story was based on Operation Red Wings. Now I don’t know about you but this name is completely unfamiliar to my ears before I watched the movie.

If I’m the military commander-in-charge I would consider this particular waste of lives a failure. To be exact, too much casualties is just the tip of the iceberg. You get to endanger nearby villages, waste one good Chinook, top-notch officers, and you’ll never know if your enemy turns out to be smart enough to make copies of looted M4s. Believe me, M4 terrorists are just too much to take on.

The operation, like other standard military operation, started with a recon mission which involved four personnels.

(From left to right) Taylor Kitsch, Mark Wahlberg, Ben Foster, Danny Dietz
(From left to right) Taylor Kitsch, Mark Wahlberg, Ben Foster, Danny Dietz.

In short, three of them died. Their cover was blown by shepherds from the nearest village and you can guess the next part.

There is some falling-from-the-cliff parts that I really need to give credit. Whoever did the sound effects is genius. The ‘CRACK’s made my uncle (who was also watching beside me at that time) go “ooh, that’s gotta hurt” and “aah, ouch, euh!” Frankly, I feel no better.

After being hunted down by the Talibans for an hour or so, the captain of the unfortunate team, Lieutenant Murphy, decided to make a call for help in open space since the signal reception was very bad. He died from several shots aimed at his back, but his try was worth it.

Backup showed up several minutes later, and Luttrell (The ‘Lone Survivor’) and his other teammate Axe cheered as they heard the familiar ‘chop-chop-chop’ sound of a helicopter’s rotor. But a single rocket from the Taliban’s RPG took care of that and as well the misson’s commander-in-charge (played by Eric Bana, I’ll always remember him as Hector from Troy. He’s cool).

Axe died after being shot to death precisely at his head, but Luttrell survived after concealing himself in an opening of a hill. He was bruised, battered, and severely injured at that moment.

The next day Luttrell was found by some friendly members of the village in a water source, practically dying. Luttrell was then carried to their house and had his wounds taken care of. He was also given food and water, something he missed for possibly two days. Meanwhile, Luttrell’s host sent a handwritten note from Luttrell to the nearest U.S. military base through a messenger.

Why are you doing this to me?
Why are you doing this to me?

Not long after that, the suspicious Talibans checked the houses of the villagers, finding Luttrell at last. They were about to execute him when the man who rescued Luttrell took an AK-47, muttered some words at the Taliban, and cocked the gun in front of their face as he aimed it towards them. The other villagers did the same.

Luttrell, for the second time, had his sorry ass saved by the locals.

The Talibans swore revenge against the villagers while reluctantly leaving, putting on some frowns on the villagers’ faces. They are now officially in war with that particular brutal Taliban gang.

Meanwhile Lutrell has not fully recovered. He can’t do anything but rest and moan. Poor guy.

The next day the Talis (call-name for Talibans) came as promised, bringing full armaments with them; RPGs, LMGs, AK-47s, grenades, you name it. The villagers valiantly stood up with only several looted AK-47s.

When it seemed like the village is going to be destroyed utterly by the Talis, U.S. Black Hawks comes out of nowhere, practically annihilating the Talis deservedly. The gunship you get to control at Modern Warfare also put on quite a show with that sort of heavy bombardment, scattering the Talis with no sweat.

In a dramatic end, the military doctors brought back Luttrell from his certain death. Happy ending sometimes felt good, and this movie showed that.

Main Characters and Their Stories

Marcus Lutrell
If I don't go home, you don't go home.
If I don’t go home, you don’t go home.

Marcus Luttrell is a former U.S. Navy Seal and also the only survivor of Operation Red Wings. He was born in Houston, Texas, in November 7 1975. After being sent back home, Luttrell founded the Lone Survivor foundation that helped soldiers like him to get back on their feet and continue living their life by moving on.

Truthfully I can’t say if Wahlberg’s involvement in being Luttrell is exceptional or super-awesome or anything. If I’m to judge his act in this movie fairly, well, he’s just a bit more than what I call the ‘standard professional acting’. Nothing much, actually.

The real-life Marcus Luttrell had a son named after his last-second teammate, Axe. He now lives in Texas, possibly his hometown.

Matt ‘Axe’ Axelson

[while sighting in a Taliban fighter] You can die for your country, I'm gonna live for mine.
[while sighting in a Taliban fighter] You can die for your country, I’m gonna live for mine.
Matt ‘Axe’ Axelson died fighting in Operation Red Wings after having his head shot. Well, not right away, but I assume he died of blood loss before he got shot at the head by the Talibans. Axe was born on June 25 1976 in Cupertino, California. He was married to a girl named Cindy in December 2003, and thus one of his last words are:

Axe: If I die I need you to make sure that Cindy knows how much I love her.
Luttrell: She knows.
Axe: And that I died with my brothers – with a full fucking heart.

For his gallant service in the operation, Axe was awarded Navy Cross, Purple Heart, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and the Navy Good Conduct Medal.

Lt. Michael Murphy

(Talking to Luttrell) Marcus. Never out of the fight.
Marcus Luttrell: [after finding his lost gun in the middle of the fight] See? God’s looking out for us. Michael Murphy: If this is what happens when God is looking out for us, I’d hate to see Him pissed.
For his remarkably great reputation, somebody actually made a movie about him. It’s called Murphy. Go on, check it out.

Michael Murphy had a great neighborhood reputation, earning the title ‘The Protector’. According to several sources, Murph (his nickname) saved a homeless man from being bullied, saved a disabled girl in his school from being bullied, and also had experience at being a pool lifeguard in summers. Murph was apparently a pretty smart dude too before he got involved in military. He graduated from Penn State university with honors and dual degrees in both political science and psychology. Talk about a perfect guy. Oh right, I forgot to tell you his birthplace and stuff. He was a native New Yorker, born May 7, 1976.

For his outstanding service this dauntless Lieutenant received lots of military awards, such as the Medal of Honor (not the game), Silver Star, Purple Heart, Commendation Medal, and Combat Action Ribbon. It was also necessary to mention that a park, a destroyer, and a missile are named after him (USS Michael Murphy, ha ha ha).

Danny Dietz
Fuckin' look at them, man. They fuckin' hate us.
Fuckin’ look at them, man. They fuckin’ hate us.

Oh, we don’t get to talk about him much now do we? In fact I think I haven’t mentioned him before this. Some of the most ‘exciting’ and good scenes were made of him, technically. Dietz was married to Maria Dietz, which was shown communicating with Dietz through an email (spoiler: asking for an Arabian Horse for her wedding present). Dietz was also seen dying grasping to a paint brochure in which he was in the process of deciding his house’s wall paint color. He loves drawing, which made him really upset when one of the Talibans shot his drawing hand, and…hmm…oh yeah, he was born on January 26, 1980 in Aurora, Colorado.

This particular war martyr earned a black belt in Taekwondo from the Korean Academy of Taekwondo (wonder why he doesn’t whup some Taliban ass with the Karate Kid kick, you know, the one with Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan, anyway,) so don’t mess around.

Receiving no less military rewards than his teammates, Dietz also get to be remembered through a larger-than-life bronze statue erected at his hometown.

Highlight

So I’m gonna keep this one short.

Again and again I must say, war brings nothing but death. Sure, the winning side might get spoils of war and stuff, but that was nothing compared to the value of a life.

Besides that, I must say the sound effect on the scene where the four brave men jumped off a cliff is just cracking! I can’t imagine what will the movie be like without them. It was wicked. You know what? You must feel that one yourself. The video-shoot was also inch-perfect on every angle. The director must’ve been a crazy genius, you see, combining such close shooting angle and that awesome, awesome sound effect.

Overall? 4.5/5. Extra half for the appreciation of the gallant efforts of the team. Superb show!

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