Thursday, January 18, 2018

12 STRONG

12 STRONG movie poster

Set in the harrowing days following 9/11, a U.S. Special Forces team, led by their new Captain, Mitch Nelson (Chris Hemsworth), is chosen to be the first U.S. troops sent into Afghanistan for an extremely dangerous mission. There, in the rugged mountains, they must convince Northern Alliance General Dostum (Navid Negahban) to join forces with them to fight their common adversary: the Taliban and their Al Qaeda allies. In addition to overcoming mutual distrust and a vast cultural divide, the Americans—accustomed to state-of-the-art warfare—must adopt the rudimentary tactics of the Afghani horse soldiers. But despite their uneasy bond, the new allies face overwhelming odds: outnumbered and outgunned by a ruthless enemy that does not take prisoners. - Warner Bros. Pictures

Bursts of combat action and solid performances make this incredible true story worth seeing. Chris Hemsworth heads the
cast as the real-life Captain Mitch Nelson, who led his team into battle. Michael Shannon as Chief Warrant Officer Hal Spencer and Michael Peña as Sergeant First Class Sam Diller play members of the elite team. William Fichtner and Rob Riggle portray Colonel John Mulholland and Colonel Max Bowers, the two U.S. Army officers overseeing the dangerous mission. Riggle was a Marine who served under the real Bowers during the same time period after 9/11. Based on Doug Stanton's non-fiction book "Horse Soldiers", director Nicolai Fuglsig delivers an epic adventure with a little help from screenwriters Ted Tally and Peter Craig. The downside is a slow setup to show the soldiers' family lives. Hemsworth's wife Elsa Pataky plays his on-screen spouse in this film. There is also much talk, some necessary, between battle scenes. Cinematographer Rasmus Videbæk nicely captures the desolate look of Afghanistan using the landscapes of New Mexico. Of note is the fact that Videbæk shot the combat sequences wide and static. Happily, the up-close shaky cam is absent. "12 Strong" finds its strength as a flag-waving, stand-up-and-cheer movie. (3 CAMS)


Rated R (war violence and language throughout)
Running Time: 130 minutes