lördag 24 mars 2018

12 Strong

I remember September 11th in the year 2001.

I was working with handicapped people, as one of the fathers of the boys came up to me and said :- Have you heard what happened in New York ? At that moment i had no idea what he was talking about, until i turned on a TV at our working place. Air planes have crashed into the World Trade Center. I still remember the images from the chaos on the streets, and people jumping out of the towers. The name on everyones lips from this day on, was Osama Bin Laden. It became clear that Osama did confirm that he and his men were behind these attacks, and the president during this time, George W. Bush declared war against terrorists. September 11 will always be a day in American history that will be remembered for many reasons. Terrorists have striked many times since this tragedy, and it seems like it never stops. Talibans, or other terrorists continue to strike with suicide bombers, and other extremely dangerous personalities. And they need to be stopped, because we have to be able to live our lives in a normal way, without being worried about public places. There are plenty of Hollywood films that have taken on the subject of terrorists, especially set out to kill people. One classic that may not be mention very often, is Chuck Norris film Delta Force from 1986. This is one of those 80´s classics you can watch over and over again, because you love to see Chuck Norris wipe out terrorists. I have to recommend the 1996 film Executive Decision with Kurt Russel, John Leguizamo. Hale Berry and David Suchet ( brilliant as the terrorist leader on board the Oceanic Airline ). Steven Seagal also does a cameo, and he is not all terrible ( how about that ? ). Director Oliver Stone also did a well made film, based on 9/11, with his film World Trade Center in 2006. A film that is both emotional, but also realistic portraying how the rescue workers did everything they could to save as many people as possible. Nicolas Cage did one of his better performances in years with this film. Have you read about the story of Captain Mitch Nelson, who were sent to Afghanistan with a team of soldiers to eliminate a Taliban leader. This story was written to a novel called Horse Soldiers by author Doug Stanton. And here we are, with a new film based on the book Horse Soldiers, telling the story behind these soldiers in Afghanistan. I remember seeing the trailer, and that Chris Hemsworth was chosen to play Captain Mitch. With an unknown director, and a good cast on board, i decided to see 12 Strong in cinema. Is this one of the best war movies in many years, or is 12 Strong a film that no one will remember at all ?

Captain Mitch Nelson ( Chris Hemsworth ) is moving to a new home on September 11 in 2001, when he hears the news about the World Trade Center towers. America is under attack. Mitch wants to act against the terrorists, and suggest that he can lead a team of soldiers in Uzbekistan, until he gets permission to do so. Mitch and his team including Chief Warrant Officer Hal Spencer ( Michael Shannon ), Sergeant First Class Sam Diller ( Michael Pena ). A team of 12 soldiers pack up, and travel to Uzbekistan, to be informed on their mission. They are to go into Afghanistan, with the help of Northern Alliance leader, Abdul Rashid Dostum ( Navid Negahban ) and his soldiers. They are ordered to find Taliban leader Mullah Razzan ( Numar Acar ), with support from the Northern Alliance. This will be a mission, where anything can go wrong, unless you are willing to risk everything.

Knowing that this film is based on a true story, makes it more interesting. Since we already know what happened ( if you have read about this military operation ), we know how it ends. But that does not make 12 Strong boring. From a military action perspective, you get plenty of shootings, explosions, and violence. It is hard to imagine what these soldiers went through in Afghanistan, fighting the Talibans. One thing is clear though, this film does not try and become too cheesy, and make a more dramatic step forward. This is a pure action film, and if you loved Rambo 3, i think you might actually appreciate what 12 Strong is trying to do here. Chris Hemsworth is an actor who can portrait very different characters, with different results. I think in this film, he have done a pretty good job as Captain Mitch Nelson. One of my favourite characters in this film, is actor Michael Shannon playing the character Hal Spencer. You like him instantly, from the very first time you see him on screen. The other characters work as well, just enough to make the film feel effective. Since this is basically a war movie, it is important to make it feel like this feels like a war. And the film does manage to capture the essence of the brutality of war. How do you handle the situation when chaos strikes ? Do you risk everything just to take out the target ? There are plenty of things to think about throughout this film. There is a brutal scene, where one of the Taliban leaders assassinate a mother in front of her children, because daughters are not supposed to know how to read, or know school subjects. This scene made me furious, because you could feel the children terrified and filled with pain. Even if 12 Strong is a pretty predictable film, this film knows what it wants to say to the audience. Director Nicolai Fuglsig have made his first directorial debut film with 12 Strong, and i can see that he wants to make an impact, to make people react about what happened during this time period in Afghanistan. He knows how to film battle scenes, and make them look realistic. This may not be a film for certain people who are against guns and wars. This is a film that is supposed to tell the story what happened with these soldiers, so it needs to be brutal, and show us how this operation worked out. 12 Strong may not be a war movie classic, but as a war movie i feel that this is a film worth watching in a cinema. Tired of romantic comedies at the cinema ? Let 12 Strong lead the way with plenty of bodies flying in the air.

Rating: DDD

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