“I would be remiss if I did not say to you, even in success, the odds of you coming home.” Captain Mulholland
“We’re a hundred percent, sir. We’re coming home.” Captain Mitch Nelson
It’s the line that any soldier wants to believe and for the heroic horsemen who ventured into the Middle East to find and defeat the Taliban after the devastation of 9-11; it is the line of hope that Captain Mitch Nelson and his team of 12 soldiers hold onto in order to fuel their ambition to come home.
Based on the book by Doug Stanton, Warner Brothers 12 Strong follows the first special force team sent out after the attack in an intriguing, realistic way that has audiences wondering, “did that really happen?”, as most of the public doesn’t know just what goes on in war. It paints the picture as one can see the research that went into writing and filming such an important piece of American history.
The war drama stars Chris Hemsworth as Captain Mitch Nelson in one of his most serious roles to date. Ultimately, he didn’t do badly, doing everything from riding on top of a horse (which he does well, amidst the small banter from the others when they first find out he will be riding horseback to the Taliban) as well as having to actually hold and fire an armed weapon in the end scenes when even the Warlord Allies fall back. Hemsworth showed his acting skills thoroughly like we’ve never before seen as a serious actor.
However, there were still moments where Hemsworth’s humor came out and reflected along with the cast, especially when put alongside Chips star, Michael Peña as Sam Diller, who added to the few chuckles in the film, especially when riding on the horses. Even with the humor, the movie still kept a serious war tone with just enough humor to lighten the subject and make audiences laugh when the situation was getting impossible.
Also co-starring along side Hemsworth is Michael Shannon as Hal Spencer, and Navid Negahban as General Dostum, the warlord whom Hemsworth joins sides with as they travel through the country in search of the Taliban.
Verdict: 4 out of 5
Overall 12 Strong is full of great realistic filming, exceptional acting and allows the audience to see first-hand how the War on Terror started. It stands on its own alongside other greats including Pearl Harbor, Saving Private Ryan, and last year’s Oscar-winning film, Hacksaw Ridge. Though not quite as bloody, the reason for my verdict is because I don’t think it’s a movie for everyone, due to the content. It’s a film that one who has a deep love for history or a deep pride for America must see, but is not for the faint at heart. Viewer discretion is strongly advised.