The newest big hit from Hollywood is the recently released Lone Survivor (2013) staring Mark Wahlberg. Lone Survivor is based on a true story and tells the tale of former U.S. Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg) who survived a mission gone wrong in 2005.
According to Tina Brown, editor of the Daily Beast, Lone Survivor is “the best war film since Saving Private Ryan (1998).” Talk about big statements. Saving Private Ryan is thought of as the class of the war movie genre, in essence, almost every war movie gets stacked up in comparison to Saving Private Ryan. So to say that Lone Survivor is just as good or possibly even better is by no means a small statement.
So what is the best way to find out how it compares? To go see it, of course.
Lone Survivor turned out being one of the best movies that I have seen in a long time and certainly one of the best war movies around. To stack it up in comparison to Saving Private Ryan, which has often been touted as the best war movie of all time, may not be fair as of now.
Still, Lone Survivor was without a doubt an extraordinary film that kept the audience on its toes. Plenty of riveting action and a phenomenal storyline make it one of the “must see” movies of the year.
Marcus Luttrell is the famous former Navy SEAL who survived the mission that Lone Survivor displays; Luttrell later went on to write his memoir about what happened.
The movie is based on a true story and does line up closely with what actually happened in 2005 but it does – as most Hollywood productions do – extend some of the truth and story to make it a better piece. The director, Peter Berg, did work closely with Luttrell in production but there are still some details of the movie that were not necessarily true events.
But from a movie standpoint the film was incredible. Most war movies are action heavy and rely more on the visuals and pure action to tell its story, Lone Survivor is much different in that it actually has a great balance of action and storyline that truly draw the audience in. In fact, it took nearly an hour before there was any action.
The amount of buildup to the mission all culminates with the first shot and from there on it is constant action, filled with amazing shot after amazing shot. Intertwined with some classic one liner’s and you have yourself a good war film. Not to mention an end that will more than likely draw tears.
The different types of screenplay and filming that was done make it fun on the eyes and much more enjoyable to watch. But one of the more underrated aspects of the film that was actually very enjoyable was the phenomenal soundtrack, which was predominantly done by Explosions in The Sky. The music fit so well with the film’s mood that in no way could I ever attempt to describe it; you will just have to go and see for yourself.
In all actuality it is far too early to claim that Lone Survivor is as good as or better than Saving Private Ryan. It truly is a fantastic movie and deserves much praise but only the test of time will determine if it passes Saving Private Ryan, although it is without a doubt the best war movie since the great 1998 film. Certainly worth seeing multiple times.
Official score for Lone Survivor: 9/10.