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For anyone in the thump-chest patriotic mood just read the book.

Every once in a while there comes a movie that America holds in the spotlight as the annual patriotic chest-thump of the year. Americans gather together, talk about how great America is as they watch American actors save the American day; “Lone Survivor” is that American movie.

While “Survivor” marks director Peter Berg’s less embarrassing creation, (remember “Battleship?”) “Survivor is not far behind. This is a disappointing; underwhelming mess of an action film that uses the power of rocks, cliffs and trees to tell what otherwise would have been an incredible story that honestly works better in book form or in the hands of a skilled screenwriter/director.
The movie adaptation is stripped down to a shell of itself to tell the bland tale of four marines (Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsche and Ben Foster) whose look-a-like features are a detriment to the movie and whitewash casting is an insult to the real people they portray. As most survival stories go their team becomes trapped behind enemy lines during a risky mission that leaves its audience screaming out actions from their seats.


The movie has much promise but with a weak script and poor direction that mismanages the movie’s budget things start to fall apart rather quickly as the audience is dragged through a rather confusing battle where the cast is rather interchangeable. As the title suggest the ending results in a lone survivor and with Wahlberg receiving top billing, it’s not hard to tell who that survivor ends up being.

While the movie is a disaster, Berg does a great job drawing in the viewer in at first, however the movie would have greatly benefited from an in-depth look into our fearsome four rather than brief highlights which forces the audience to care about the actors instead of everything flowing organically.

Things start to pick up pretty early on when the consequences of releasing innocent bystanders result in an all-out war. Unfortunately after this scene the movie just dies and Berg’s direction seems rather spastic as if he’s battling both ADD and the Taliban. It doesn’t help that it becomes downright impossible to tell which character is which and at one point of the movie 1/3 of cast randomly and conveniently just disappears in the middle of a battle to never be mentioned of again. Cliff/hill -1 Soldiers – 0
There is one moment that is literally heartbreaking where Berg’s direction actually shines through by the use of clever slow-motion and Enya-type background music and for this one moment the audience forgets the bland storyline, one-dimensional whitewashed characters, confusing geography and utter sloppiness.

Don’t worry, this scene doesn’t last very long and the audience is quickly snapped back to reality and is handed an overstretched needless second-half that goes on forever which will test the patience of many while introducing a new cast of characters and displaying the power and endurance of Under Armor underwear (its cameo is more memorable than anyone else’s).
The real offense of this movie is that the soldier’s service and how they died is forever tarnished by Berg’s inexperienced hands. He simply doesn’t have the talent, finesse or knowhow to handle this film. The script is lazy, as is the casting and while Wahlberg does his best to save the movie, there are too many mistakes made starting with the writing that makes Wahlberg’s best efforts all for naught.

For anyone in the thump-chest patriotic mood just read the book.

About The Author

Dana Abercrombie
Brand Manager

Former genius and a woman of mystery and power, whose power is exceeded only by her mystery, Dana Abercrombie has been watching since birth (yes birth...we did say "genius"). Despite her secret desire of wanting to give it all up to become a gorgeous billionaire, Dana is most passionate about films often times getting in many heated debates resulting in being thrown out of many gatherings. Despite having a degree in English AND Journalism (multi-tasking FTW!) from the University at Albany-SUNY, she is currently interested in perusing a degree at Yale Law School, because one should never give up on a dream of becoming a gorgeous billionaire...and knowing how to sue someone as a result of those heated debates.