The biggest film of 2014 is a film that is trying to find Oscar success possibly with a late 2013 release date and the second biggest January opening weekend of all time. ‘Lone Survivor’ tells the story of an ill fated American military operation in war-torn Afghanistan through the eyes of a four-man SEAL team that ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Unfortunately for ‘Lone Survivor’, I found that it fell into the same trap that ‘Now You See Me’ did last year. Both were films that I was really keen on seeing after seeing the trailer for them. Both are films that broke out at the box office and are really hyped up by casual theatre goers. And both left me wanting more.
That is not to say that there is anything inherently wrong or bad about ‘Lone Survivor’, just that it seemed to miss out on the final scene that would have nailed home the ending and made this a truly great film. There was really something missing to put this over the top.
The way the film was shot, especially the chase/battle scenes I found to be really well done and really highlighted the risk that was taken by the four SEALs to try and escape their attackers. These scenes were quite jarring and elicited a few sympathetic groans from the audience as well.
That aside, the few attempts at character building were well done but were so few and far between that ‘Lone Survivor’ really started to, at times, feel like just another generic action film. I was really hoping for something that would set this apart from the pack but in the end this is just a slight step forward for director Peter Berg. That being said, it is a lot better than Berg’s ‘Battleship’ from 2012.
In the end, ‘Lone Survivor’ falls short of the best war films we have had in the past twenty years. Having not yet seen ‘Saving Private Ryan’ I cannot judge against it, but it does fall short of my personal favourite to date, ‘We Were Soldiers’.
As always, for all this and more, feel free to follow me on Twitter at @kymayer. Cheers.