While watching Lone Survivor, Peter Berg’s adaptation of former Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell’s nonfiction book of the same name, there’s a chance one might forget that the film is founded on actual events. But that’s why Luttrell wrote his book, and why he’s worked closely with Berg in production: to make sure that he and his comrades in arms had their story told to the world. While last month’s featurette touched on that particular pursuit, a new clip for Lone Survivor, seen above, instead focuses on the men behind the mission that makes up its narrative backbone.
It also showcases how much responsibility Berg and his cast – primarily comprised of Mark Wahlberg, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, and Taylor Kitsch – felt toward telling SEAL Team 10’s tale with as much authenticity as possible. In recreating the details of Operation Red Wings, in which Luttrell and his fellow SEALs wound up pinned down and outnumbered during an operation gone wrong in the mountains of Afghanistan, these actors all concerned themselves with remembering the sacrifices these men made in combat; their greatest goal is to honor Luttrell and his brothers above all else.
To that end, the featurette lets us get to know each of these soldiers through the people that they left behind. Throughout the footage, we’re introduced to the very real families of Michael Murphy (Kitsch), Matt Axelson (Ben Foster), and Daniel Dietz (Emile Hirsch); it’s as strong a reminder as any that these aren’t simply characters we’re watching on the screen, but representations of people who lost their lives in service to their country. Hence the cast’s commitment to making Lone Survivor the right way, and giving proper justice to their respective roles.
Be warned: watching the mothers and fathers of the soldiers talk about their experiences meeting the actors and watching the film proves to be pretty moving, even if you’re blanked on the picture and don’t have much investment in it for the time being. That alone speaks to the emotional, personal nature of the content, a sharp contrast to last year’s Zero Dark Thirty (to which Lone Survivor may be compared just based on subject matter and the timing of their respective releases), which covers the topic of terrorism from a macro rather than micro perspective.
Based on the trailers for Lone Survivor, Berg’s film is an action movie in military garb – replete with bloody shootouts – but he appears to have instilled the film with a throughline of honest sentiment, too. The motion picture comes out in about a week and a half; we’ll see if he’s found the right balance between the two once it does.
Lone Survivor arrives in US theaters on December 27th, 2013.