Long Survivor” is a war movie that really didn’t start to resonate with me until after I saw it. Upon first viewing I had praise for the harrowing action sequences and the realism of the locations but I found that I didn’t connect with the characters very much. I realize now that not all war movies need to be a prolonged epic. The mission depicted in this movie wasn’t a very long one but it left a mark on everyone who was involved.
Mark Wahlberg, Ben Foster, Emile Hirsch and Taylor Kitsch star as the seal team sent in to enemy territory in Afganistan to eliminate a high level Taliban target. When they happen upon some kids and an elderly bystander they struggle with a choice that ultimiately decides their fate. Do they murder these seemingly innocent civilians or let them go and risk giving away their position and facing an army of Taliban soldiers.
Their decision results in a particularly fierce battle as the men fight for their lives. They are forced to keep shooting as they are uultimitely pushed further in to enemy territory.
I was surprised with how gritty and violent this battle turned out to be. Mainly because we have been put through so many PG-13 films that try to generate fake grittiness by shaking the camera and cutting together scenes with a blender. Here the battle is clear and easy to follow yet sill seems chaotic for the Seal team. I esspecially shuddered when they were forced to leap off a cliff and roll down a hill violently.
The director is Peter Berg, who was behind such films as “The Rundown”, “Friday Night Lights” and “The Kingdom”. His most recent film was the awul “Battleship”. Word around town is that he provided his services on that movie so that he could get this one made. Sad to think that great art comes at a price these days.