17 January 2018 | Ramascreen
Hardcore Battle Scenes
12 STRONG has some of the most hardcore battle scenes in any war movie. It's soldiers carrying weapons while riding horses, that definitely makes this one unique. And if you're animal lovers, you are right to be concerned about the horses' safety, I'm sure the production went above and beyond to ensure that but to me what's more impressive is the fact that these guys actually storm into battle like that, with bullets flying everywhere, riding a horse isn't exactly taking a cover, it's very very vulnerable, you're out in the open, impressive stuff.
Starring Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, Michael Pena and Trevante Rhodes, directed by Nicolai Fuglsig, based on Doug Stanton's book, 12 STRONG is the true story of a U.S. Special forces team led by their new captain, Mitch Nelson, played by Chris Hemsworth, and after 9/11 they're sent to be the first troops into Afghanistan to retaliate. There they form alliance with a local general, played by Navid Negahban in order to fight their common enemy, the Taliban. The special forces team has to adapt to the terrain and some of the tactics there which means they have to use Afghani horses to go places. They're outnumbered and outgunned by a ruthless enemy who's driven by ideology.
Without sounding too shallow, to be honest with you, the biggest reason why I enjoy 12 STRONG is that it's essentially about good guys kicking bad guys' ass. The war in Afghanistan is one of the longest wars in our country's history with no end in sight, it's still going, it's still happening, so seeing it from today's perspective is quite depressing. But something like this, where the characters are charged up because of 9/11, they go in, guns blazing, sending hell to enemy's territory, they go in they get the job done, boom, it definitely satisfies those of us moviegoers who like watching bad guys getting what's coming to them.
And I'm glad that the movie is rated R and doesn't hold back, so what you get is a depiction that's not watered down. It's graphic, it's intense, it's brutal, it's in your face. And like I said earlier, the battle scenes are explosive and hardcore. You're really engaged the entire time. It's well staged, well choreographed and well-shot, with some excellent sound mix and sound editing work. There's a bit of drama they throw in there with the clash between how Chris Hemsworth's character does things versus how the local general Navid Negahban's character does things, so even though the bad guy is quite one dimensional, there's plenty to go around between those two commanding characters. The movie does a good job of emphasizing the reason why a group like the Taliban needs to be eliminated, it does a good job of pumping us up to keep rooting for the good guys to win. What a helluva film to honor those courageous horse soldiers.
-- Rama's Screen --