Film of the Day (02/28/19): Lone Survivor

 

Written By Peter Berg
Directed By Peter Berg

And thus concludes my recent binge of Peter Berg films starring Mark Wahlberg. Apparently, if you want to tell a gritty, real life story of heroism in the face of great peril, they are the team to call! While this didn’t quite hit the level of Deepwater Horizon or Patriot’s Day for me, it was still a very solid effort with some great cast work and riveting suspense. Berg may be in danger of pigeonholing himself (though I suppose Mile 22 broke the trend, though not in a good way), but this is a fine example of him honing in on what he excels at and delivering in a crowd-pleasing way. The handheld shot style is front and center, the editing is appropriately frantic during the war sequences, and he gets good work out of his actors. Some of the staging really impressed me too, specifically the two scenes of the soldiers forced, through need for survival, to jump off the cliff faces. The way they are pummeled by rocks, trees and everything else as they roll further down the hills in an attempt to escape the Taliban soldiers was not only suspenseful but outright brutal to watch, as you feel every smash and cut along the way. The formula may feel a bit familiar but it’s easy to forgive since the story was lifted from reality. And being such a huge fan of Explosions in the Sky, who have worked with Berg in the past, I really enjoyed the score and thought it complimented the visuals very well. My complaints here were minimal and I enjoyed spending two hours on this.

Film of the Day

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