Thursday, January 16, 2014

Good Book. Good Movie

Review of the movie "Lone Survivor"
Marcus Luttrell is one of four highly trained Navy Seals who go on a reconnaissance mission to find a notorious Taliban leader in the mountains of Afghanistan.  They are to identify his location, call it in, and then after an air strike, will be picked up by helicopter and flown back to base. In the steep local terrain, their communications with home base goes awry and then a group of local goat herders stumbles upon them as they are spying out the Taliban stronghold. The pivotal point of the story then occurs. Do they go by the book and do not harm the obviously hostile but unarmed locals, and hope they can escape before they are hunted down, or do they kill them? After much soul searching and heated debate, they do the decent thing and let them go.
And so ensues the disaster that was dubbed 'Operation Red Wings' where three of the men are killed, as well as another 16 special forces soldiers and the aviators of a Chinook helicopter that tried to rescue the foursome.
I read the book a few years ago but remembered it well. It was an eye witness account written by Marcus, in great detail. The back story on these four very good friends, their training, and their dedication to each other and their jobs comes through strongly in both the book and movie. Where the movie lacks interesting detail is in what happened to Marcus after the battle and how he was rescued and protected by some local Afghanis.
It was a horrendous ordeal and a tragic loss that not need have taken place. Being a more or less true story is what makes it all the more fascinating.
4 stars

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