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'Lone Survivor' starring Mark Wahlberg a fitting tribute to armed forces


Lone Survivor, Peter Berg’s latest movie, is a heartbreaking tribute to the bravery and sacrifice of our armed forces. Who knew that Berg was destined for such thought provoking stories, considering his first picture he directed was the black comedy Very Bad Things. Lone Survivor is based on a true story, and he returns to territory he visited in the Kingdom. This time, however, the focus on Seal Team 10, who are tasked with finding and a terrorist leader in Afghanistan, who is responsible for the death of marines, as well as being implicated in other plots.


Prior to the op, Berg establishes the camaraderie, boredom and routine between their missions. Eric Bana brings his impressive physical presence and gravitas to his portrayal of officer-in-charge, LCDR Erik Kristensen, while former child actor Alexander Ludwig graduated from being a district tribute in The Hunger Games to the youngest Sea team member.Photo: contactmusic.com


Four men from the team are assigned to go to the compound, find and take him out. Mark Wahlberg is Marcus Luttrell, the voice of calm and common sense among the men of Seal Team 10. The communications team member, Danny Dietz, is portrayed with a playful spark by Emile Hirsch. Rounding out the cast is Ben Foster, who delivers a steely performance as Matt "Axe" Axelson, whose motivation is protecting his team above all else.


Berg has his circle of actors that he’s worked with multiple times, including Taylor Kitsch, who until now, hadn’t found the right role to showcase his talent. Berg worked with Kitsch previously on NBC’s beloved Friday Night Lights, and in the clunker Battleship. Kitsch plays Lt. Mike Murphy, whose main concern before the mission was how he could possibly afford an expensive wedding gift for his fiancé. When they are on the mission, Murphy provides thoughtful leadership, and makes an important decision that has lasting repercussions for the team members.


Berg does an amazing job of representing the desperate attempt to the four men make to escape when their mission goes horribly wrong. The director uses real training footage in the beginning of the movie, which helps the audience understand how they could endure their situation for so long. Please be aware that the final scenes are devastating to watch.


Although somber in tone, Lone Survivor is a story worth seeing and a further reminder that we should thank our armed forces for their service. Bring your tissues.  


Warning: There are two extended extremely realistic scenes of gunfights. There are also many graphic images of wounds.



Contact Diane Cooney at dcooney@philly2philly.com

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Photo: contactmusic.com