One look at the non-blockbuster and/or non-comedy films that are either currently playing in theaters (Captain Phillips, 12 Years a Slave) or arriving in the near future (American Hustle, The Wolf of Wall Street) and you can tell we’re in the heart of Hollywood’s traditional end of year high-minded entertainment rush. It’s generally not a proper awards season without at least one film about modern war/military operations, which this year will arrive in the form of Peter Berg’s Lone Survivor adaptation.
Lone Survivor is based on the true story of SEAL Team 10’s failed mission to capture/kill Taliban leader Ahmad Shahd back in 2005, as was previously detailed in the memoir written by ex-SEAL Marcus Luttrell (portrayed by Mark Wahlberg in the movie). The second trailer for Berg’s cinematic dramatization of the event highlights the personal side of things, focusing on the regular concerns of Luttrell and his team; that is, both leading up to and during their struggle to stay alive in the mountains of Afghanistan.
Unlike the first Lone Survivor trailer, this second preview also includes critical blurbs that heap praise on the film, with regard to its rough and tumble portrayal of the warfare and combat which transpired in real life. We’ll have to wait and see if other people agree with the ‘Best War Movie Since Saving Private Ryan‘ line, but such early comparisons are encouraging regardless.
The above “story featurette” delves further into the film’s narrative, while also illustrating the detailed research and degree of authenticity that Berg and the real Luttrell strove to bring to the combat/military ops in the movie version (similar to what Berg did on Battleship, as odd as that might seem). That approach sounds like the best one too, since Lone Survivor is a real-life tale that lends itself to more of an intimate recreation; as opposed to, a movie that uses real-life subject matter to examine larger issues (a la Zero Dark Thirty).
Lone Survivor begins an Oscar-qualifying ultra-limited theatrical run on December 27th, 2013. It will begin a nation-wide theatrical release in the U.S. on January 10th, 2014.