Here's a movie that'll flop in Kabul. Lone Survivor, the latest by Battleship director Peter Berg, is a jingoistic snuff film about a Navy SEAL squadron outgunned by the Taliban in the mountainous Kunar province. After four soldiers—played with muscles and machismo by Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, and Ben Foster—get ID'd by Afghan goat herders, they're in a race to climb the nearest summit and summon an airlift before these civilians can alert local leader Ahmad Shah. It doesn't go well. Berg's flick is based on the memoir by sole evacuee Marcus Luttrell (played by Wahlberg)—and that's only a spoiler if you've ignored the title; Luttrell didn't exactly write his book. Rather than sitting in front of a word processor, he was back in action in Iraq. Instead, the Navy hired novelist Patrick Robinson, who, among other embellishments, upped the number of enemy Taliban fighters from 10 to 200. Hey, whatever -- those aliens in Battleship weren't real, either. The near-wordless second half is a deadly dubstep of bullets and snare drums punctuated with the occasional curse. And the film actually gets worse when the guys open their mouths. When they debate whether to kill the three goat herders who've stumbled onto their hiding place, Foster grabs a teenager and insists, "That's death. Look at death." And when the firefight starts, he bellows, "You can die for your country -- I'm going to live for mine." We're meant to cheer, not that anyone in my theater did. But there will be audiences who do, and I'm not entirely sure I'm comfortable with what they're cheering for. This is death. Look at death.
Peter BergMark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Eric Bana, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, Sammy Sheik, Alexander Ludwig, Scott Elrod, Sterling Jones, Ali SulimanPeter BergSarah Aubrey, Randall Emmett, Akiva Goldsman, Norton Herrick, Barry SpikingsARRAY(0x2ece878)