Friday Night is Movie night as they say; so last Friday I made my way to the cinema to watch another film. This time I chose the newest release ’12 Strong’. With little background on the events surrounding this film: including America’s attacks against Al-Qaeda, in Afghanistan, following the 9/11 attacks on the world trade centre and Middle Eastern conflicts in the general, I was going into this film fairly blind.
Synopsis- Based around the true story of the first team sent by the United States to fight back against Al-Qaeda; this film follows the momentous, near impossible task they faced.
Positives- I previously knew almost nothing about the subject and although sometimes it’s not a good idea to infer your audience is stupid and lead them by the hand through the course of a film, for me that is exactly what I needed and it worked. It started off with a bit of context before biting into the main substance of the film, which I thought was good. It allowed us to see the characters introduced as people moulded by something that had happened, 9/11, making it more emotionally engaging. I thought the interactions between a fantastic ensemble cast in this film; made me feel like it could actually be an army squadron fighting together on the battlefield. There are a number of the scenes in this film that are particularly harrowing and I believe these were executed with precision and respect for the difficult of the subject matter. Finally, I enjoyed the film, sometimes there are films with good elements that I really haven’t liked, but this film was not one of them as it engaged me and actually made me feel pathos as each of the characters’ stories developed.
Negatives- I felt this was a very patriotic film, and not that I particularly have a problem with that however, at some points you almost expected someone to pull out an American flag and shout ‘This is for America’ before charging, on horseback, into the thick of battle. Also, a point that ties in with my last a little bit is that sometimes I felt a large degree of the truth had been meddled with. Although I can’t say for sure some of the scenes just seemed surreal. For example the boy who follows one of the soldiers around, seemed like something added solely for the screen as another point of interest and to allow for future potential plot twists to ensue.
Conclusion- I enjoyed the film and I went away from it thinking about the real heroes and the struggles they had to overcome to achieve what they did so the film achieved its purpose of informing wider audiences about the story in an interesting, thought provoking way.
My new top 3 of the year:
- Molly’s Game
- 12 Strong
So that it is goodbye to Logan Lucky.