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12 Strong (2018)


12 Strong (2018)

Besides what I saw in the trailer, I was not aware of the true story that this film depicts.  How was this not more widely publicized?

12 Strong is a true story about 12 Special Forces soldiers sent on a covert operation in Afghanistan, following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  They are the first boots on the ground.  The group teams up with an Afghan leader, and together on horseback, they try to take down the Taliban.

The movie is based on the book “Horse Soldiers” by Doug Stanton.  It is directed by Nicolai Fuglsig.

The noteworthy cast includes Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, Michael Pena, Navid Negahban, Trevante Rhodes, Geoff Stults, Thad Luckinbill, Austin Stowell, Rob Riggle, William Fichter, Fahim Fazli, Numan Acar, and Taylor Sheridan.

12 Strong is the best war movie that I have seen since American Sniper (2014).  It is done in a similar style as Lone Survivor (2013).  It is an amazing untold story that everyone should know about.  It tells the story about America’s immediate response after the 9/11 attacks.

This is easily Chris Hemsworth’s best film.  His role as a soldier was quite believable.

Michael Shannon and Michael Pena also give very likable performances.

The flow to the story was very fluid.  I credit the film quality to the unknown director Nicolai Fuglsig.  A film with such epic proportions cannot be easy to direct.  Especially one this good.

The convincing sets and realistic battle scenes make you feel like you are watching on the battlefield.  It is a war movie, so there is a lot of quality brutal violence.  The special effects are good, but not overdone.

The story itself, was what was most surprising to me.  The U.S. sends twelve men into Afghanistan to respond to the 19 terrorists that took out the World Trade Center.  The covert operation sees those twelve men joining forces with Afghan soldiers on horseback to try to systematically takedown the Taliban.  Horses against tanks, rockets, and other heavy artillery.  Who would’ve thought?

That is fascinating to me.  It’s the 21st century.  The greatest country in the world is attacked with their own planes.  And, their response is on horses in the desert.  Reading that out loud sounds pretty harsh.  But, that is why this is such an interesting and incredible story.  This is not me talking down about the story it all.  That is me praising it.  If you have not seen it and it sounds interesting to you, go see it now!

I rate this movie a on a 9 on a scale of 1-10.

If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:

Lone Survivor (2013)

American Sniper (2014)

Fury (2014)

Unbroken (2014)

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)

The Pianist (2002)

We Were Soldiers (2002)

The 15:17 to Paris (2018)

Red Dawn (2012)


Red Dawn (2012)

One night the power goes out in Spokane, Washington, and apparently much of the surrounding area of the country.

The following day, the quarterback of the local High School football team Matt Eckert (Josh Peck) is awakened by the walls around him shaking.  He and his brother Jed (Chris Hemsworth), who is a veteran of the war in Iraq run out of the house to investigate.  They are shocked to discover planes flying overhead, parachutes falling from the sky carrying heavily armed North Korean soldiers, and their city under attack.

English: Chris Hemsworth at 2010 Comic-Con Int...

English: Chris Hemsworth at 2010 Comic-Con International (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They flee in Jed’s old pickup truck.  The streets are littered with residents of the city running for their lives.  They dodge bullets, explosions, and drive through and around flames as they try to escape to safety.  In the midst of it all, they almost collide with their father’s police car.  He had been out the night before dealing with security of the city during the power outage.

Their father orders them to get out of the city and to their cabin in the woods.  On the way to the cabin they join up with some friends and they witness other friends and their families getting captured or killed.

The cabin becomes one of many different places where they hide out and take refuge.  They scrounge up any weapons and food that they can find and come together as a group to fight back against their attackers.

With Jed as the leader, they call themselves the Wolverines and carry out missions to try to weaken the North Koreans and save the city and its captives.

This is an updated remake of the 1984 film of the same name.  In the original version, a small town in Colorado was under attack by the Russians.  In the 2012 version it is suspected that the North Koreans had help from the Russians to attack the U.S.

This new version is an entertaining action film that keeps your attention throughout.  The actors in the movie are mostly younger adults who are more known for the movies that they have been in, rather than being recognized for their acting ability.  The most popular actor in the movie is Chris Hemsworth, who is more known for role as Thor in the movie Thor (2011) and The Avengers (2012) than he is for his ability to act.  With that being said, this is the type of film that relies more on story and action than it does on acting.  The actors do not get much of a chance to act before they are thrown into a battle of life and death.  It is my opinion that a few of these actors are still developing their craft and may one day have a breakthrough role that boosts them to real stardom.

The story concludes very abruptly and almost too conveniently, leaving the viewer with a few questions unanswered.

Overall it was a fun movie to watch.  It was interesting to see which direction the updated version would take in comparison to the original 1984 version.

Cover of "Red Dawn (Collector's Edition)&...

Cover of Red Dawn (Collector’s Edition)

By keeping the story localized and not showing what was happening all over the country, it made the story more believable and therefore more enjoyable.

The movie is worth seeing in the theatre and will definitely be worth catching on DVD.

I rate Red Dawn (2012) a 7 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Rent.