Lone Survivor Review

November 13, 2013 3:41 PM

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The recent vogue for extreme solitary survival tales -- Life of Pi, All Is Lost, Gravity -- continues with another significant entry in Lone Survivor. A very intense, close-up visualization of the best-selling memoir about a botched Navy SEALs raid in Afghanistan written by the only man who lived to tell the tale, Marcus Luttrell, Peter Berg's film rates comparisons to Black Hawk Down as an unflinching account of a U.S. military operation in the Middle East gone very wrong. The film is concerned only with what directly confronts the characters -- and, by extension, the audience -- at any given moment. But even without any discernable political tilt in the point of view, other than for a clear enthusiasm for gung ho manliness, no spectator will be able to avoid pondering the question: Is such sacrifice worth it? Given the grim and painful nature of much of the drama, even critical plaudits and heavy promotion will have trouble pushing this Universal release beyond mid-level box office success.

Berg reportedly underwent at least a semblance of SEALs initiation in preparation for the film and the celebration of the he-man camaraderie stemming from the rigorous training period is certainly infectious early in the film. As is well known, these guys are the elite of the elite, the most physica...

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