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:
American Sniper (2014)
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)
The Pianist (2002)
We Were Soldiers (2002)
The Internship (2013)
The Internship pairs Vince Vaughn with Owen Wilson again for the first time since Wedding Crashers (2005). Why is this relevant? It is relevant because Wedding Crashers grossed over $285,000,000 worldwide and was a huge success and a hilarious movie. Filmmakers hoped that Vaughn and Wilson together again in the same film would help them to repeat their previous success. It has already been 8 years since the release of Wedding Crashers.
I think that a movie like The Internship would have been a much bigger hit if it had been made 5 or 6 years ago when the main characters were still in their prime. As it turns out, The Internship lost money.
My gut feeling before watching this movie was that it was going to be a big disappointment. It looked funny, but not very.
The film is a comedy about two best friends (Vaughn and Wilson) who lose their jobs as salesman. They manage to get internship positions at Google, but they are forced to compete against younger, much more qualified computer nerds for a chance at employment.
The movie was written by Vince Vaughn and Jared Stern and directed by Shawn Levy. The rest of the noteworthy cast includes Rose Byrne, Aasif Mandvi, Max Minghella, John Goodman, Josh Gad, Rob Riggle, Will Ferrell, B.J. Novak, Gary Anthony Williams, and Tiya Sircar.
Vaughn and Wilson showed a similar comedic chemistry to what they had in Wedding Crashers, except that they were not as funny as they could have been.
I think that the PG-13 rating was what ruined this movie. Wilson and Vaughn do better in movies where they are allowed to get away with more craziness and crudeness. Vaughn is fast-talking and witty and he is a lot funnier and thrives when his dialogue is not limited. Wilson responds to Vaughn’s wittiness with his own charm, but if Vaughn is not allowed to be funny then it makes their banter incomplete. The filmmakers tried too hard to reach a wider audience with the PG-13 rating, but ultimately this sacrificed too many laughs and the result was bone dry humor.
The movie is very formulaic. It is very predictable. It’s funny, but mostly stupid funny. Some of the dialogue is clever, but some is also pretty cheesy. Sometimes it’s wholesome and sometimes it’s cheap. The Internship is entertaining enough as long as your expectations aren’t too high.
The film was a cross between Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004) and Old School (2003) without the raunchiness and the big laughs. It’s a good time that you don’t have to think about too much. For Vaughn and Wilson, this movie is a step down and a step back from the comedies that we are used to seeing them in.
I rate this movie a 6 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Rent.