12 Strong

  • 27 Jan - 02 Feb, 2018
  • Farheen Jawaid
  • Reviews

Based on the real life events of 12 strong special forces officers dropped in Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11 attacks on the world trade center, the film centers on the first successful mission to start off the American war in Afghanistan, which still continues to this day. In a way, it makes sense to remember that one moment of glory.

12 Strong, by default works as an army recruitment movie that highlight the patriotic hearts and dedication of men of arms. However, it is also brashly shallow and one dimensional. The movie stars a group of fine actors with Chris Hemsworth as Captain Nelson, Michael Shannon as Officer Spencer. Michael Pena and the rest are just there to make up the numbers and not contribute to the story or its depth.

The plot begins with a montage that lets in a peek of something brewing in Afghanistan, followed by the September 11 attacks. The scene plays out in the house of Captain Nelson, who have just moved in a new home with his family (the wife Hemsworth’s real spouseElsa Pataky). The next moment he is in the military headquarters and wants a proactive duty on ground in the fight against the terror.

No cookie points for guessing: he is sent off to Uzbekistan with his special unit –Task Force Dagger– to infiltrate Afghanistan. They have to join up with allied General Dostum (NavidNegahban, wonderful in his limited role) and conduct a small scale attacks on the Taliban and Al-Qaeda till the liberate Mazar-i-Sharif. The attack is backed by aerial bombardment support, when a target area is confirmed by Captain Nelson and Dostum.

The group crosses the tricky terrain of Afghanistan on horseback (Mexico stands in for Afghanistan as the shooting location) earning them their name of Horse Soldiers.

12 Strong, lacks an original voice that war movie likeThe Hurt Locker and Lone Survivor had that took a grip of you and stayed with you after you left the theater. The movie is closer to the gung-ho spirit of American Sniper, but gives a lesser grave tone to the drama and the action.

Debutant director, and former photojournalist Nicolai Fuglsig, does not have a clear vision with the movie that in turn made each action sequencefeel flat and visually alike.Even with adequate actors and passible plot, 12 Strong, does not rise above its inherent mediocrity. •