An incredible true story of courage under adversity, Mark Wahlberg war film Lone Survivor has come to DVD, Blu-Ray and digital release this month.
In the tradition of visceral, immediate, unrelenting war films such as Saving Private Ryan, Mark Wahlberg (The Fighter) movie Lone Survivor transports audiences to the Afghanistan war, and one team's ill-fated mission to capture a high-ranking member of the Taliban.
Based on the best-selling memoir of Wahlberg's character Marcus Luttrell, Lone Survivor follows United States Navy SEALS Luttrell, Danny Dietz (Emile Hirsch, Into the Wild), Michael Murphy (Taylor Kitsch, Savages), and Matt "Axe" Axelson (Ben Foster, Contraband), a close-knit team with strong camaraderie.
Lone Survivor begins with a series of brutally intense military training clips and stills under the opening credits, setting the serious and patriotic tone that carries through the film. An important piece of dialogue that sums up the spirit of the movie is heard here: "I like having my buddies to depend on and I'd like for them to depend on me".
As the four SEALS, Operation Red Wings, trek through the rough Afghanistan terrain in the pursuit of their mission, they are faced with an impossible moral dilemma dictated by the rules of engagement — and from this moment their fate is all but sealed.
A large portion of the film is a fierce fight against the Taliban on the side of a mountain. This long sequence feels authentic — the four SEALS don't have all the facts; they can't see who they're battling, or where they are, and neither can the audience. They are very outnumbered, but show dazzling courage to persevere — the very definition of "soldiering on".
The loud moments are visceral, penetrating as the hits are hard, the falls heavy, and each bullet whizzes by to horrify.
But it is the quiet moments that are the most effective, as the tension rises and the snapping of a twig is as loud as gunfire.
Lone Survivor is a testament to the bravery of soldiers everywhere. The film's lead characters are not superhuman — they hurt and feel pain like the rest of us, but it is their determination of spirit, absolute trust in one another under unrelenting gunfire that sets them apart.
Director Peter Berg (The Kingdom) maintains the ferocious immediacy of war without compromising on the beauty of his shots — his film is gritty without relying on shaky-cam and grim lighting.
In Lone Survivor no one escapes the pain of war unscathed, and, as Luttrell says: "You are never out of the fight".
Lone Survivor is available on DVD, Blu-Ray and digitally from today.