12 Strong

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wkambic
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Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:53 am

Went and saw "12 Strong" last week. Gets my highest rating: GFF.

It's based on the book War Horse which I think has been discussed before. The book is a good read. The movies is a good entertainment based upon the book.

Some of my friends were expecting a horse movie set in a war. The film is actually a war movie with horses playing a critical role as transport. The movie is somewhat unusual in that it's much more in the style of "Back to Bataan" than "Platoon." It's not particularly "contemplative" and certainly not apologetic. The heroes don't waste any time weeping over those they kill.

The Taliban are depicted as ruthless, violent thugs from the opening scene to the closing credits. They have NO redeeming social values and elicit not the slightest bit of sympathy. The SOF folks are "happy warriors" who are anxious to get some "payback" for 9/11 and are not at all reticent to risk their own lives to do so. This would be likely seen as "jingoism" in today's world except that it really was true; these guys WERE anxious to do what they did, at least according to the book. This gets a "Hollywood Hype" treatment but the base thought is accurate.

There are a number of "left handed references" to the Northern Alliance fighters and the Afghan population in general but they are not emphasized. There are a couple of interchanges between main characters about history, culture, philosophy, etc. but they are short and not emphasized. They serve more as a backdrop for tactical and strategic decisions than anything.

All in all it's an "old time war movie" where White Hats and Black Hats are very easily distinguished. It's pretty well done although the "action-adventure" format is emphasized and maybe a bit more background might be interesting, too. A good friend of mine saw it and immediately wrote a long review emphasizing the historical inaccuracies (of which there are many). But this was an entertainment, not a documentary. It is wildly Politically Incorrect in some of its depictions of the Taliban (even if it probably is very accurate in its view of them as thugs in need of extermination).

All in all it was worth my time and money. I do recommend it! :)
Bill Kambic

Mangalarga Marchador: Uma raça, uma paixão
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