Directed By: Nicolai Fuglsig
I keep wanting to call this movie 12 Down, which I know is not a good thing in military terms. As the pic says this is the declassified true story of the horse soldiers. A unit inserted into Northern Afghanistan and linked up with General Dostum to help them take on the Taliban and kick them out of a couple of strongholds.
In a lot of ways this movie was just what you’d expect. Characters are pretty thin. I wasn’t sure of Hemsworth, Pena or Sheen’s characters names until like mid-movie and they were definitely the important soldiers. The others were just like, “Friends with the kid.” “Glasses.” “I think he’s the medic.” “He’s kind of hot… wait, isn’t he the medic?”
Also the dialogue in the beginning especially drove me nuts. It was like war movie dialogue 101. Plus there was this scene with Nelson and Dostum (Navid Negahban) where Nelson was upset because he hadn’t given him important information and the General was like, “Listen to your heart.” “But I need the information to get this done.” “Listen to your heart to be a warrior…”
And I was just like, “Ah! Can’t you give him the information and he’ll listen to his heart?!”
That being said I did like the General and the relationship that developed between the two. The acting was fine throughout the movie. (Sheen, Pena and Hemsworth usually are.) Honestly save Elsa Pataky but she wasn’t really in it enough for me to be bothered.
On the plus side the movie was surprisingly pretty…
The action part of the story was straight forward and the scenes were easy to follow. I’m not the biggest action movie fan but I enjoyed them. They kept me on edge and it helps not to know the outcome of the story. (I mean I knew the outcome regarding the town but not specific soldiers.)
Besides your usual war movie violence. Be aware of a close-up suicide bombing and it’s aftermath. Also as far as the Taliban leader they’re specifically looking for at one point he’s terrorizing 3 little girls in a village and eventually shots either their mother or teacher for giving them books.
Is it weird that scene felt out of place for me? In a war movie no less. I just felt like we know very well what the Taliban was doing but that character played such a small role in the movie. But then on the other hand it showed what the General and his troops were fighting against. So I think this will be a milage varies kind of scene.
Regardless of that or the fact that in a lot of ways 12 Strong was exactly what I expected I enjoyed it. It’s a competent action/ war movie with a good and charismatic cast.
Recommend: Yes. But honestly you don’t need to see this one in theaters.