Strong movie: Review, Cast, Story and Director

Chris Hemsworth saddles up and rides high in

Chris Hemsworth saddles up and rides high in"12 Strong

Those who think Hollywood is a hive of liberals making pro-socialist movies, led by female heroines, should remember that unabashedly flag-waving chest-thumpers such as 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi (2016), Act Of Valor (2012), American Sniper (2014) and several more, come from the same film factories.

Tonally 12 Strong is all over the map, as it moves at a glacial pace that doesn't match the dramatic action-movie score.

It was three weeks after the terrorist attacks on 9/11 and 12 courageous men of the Army Special Forces entered into a remote region of Afghanistan to fight back against the Taliban for the first time since the attacks. As related in the 2009 book "Horse Soldiers", a small team of 12 Green Berets - known as Task Force Dagger - achieved a startling victory.

Hemsworth is Nelson, a captain transferred to desk duty, when the terrorist attacks of 9/11 take place.

The enemy is embodied by an nearly cartoonish, black-clad Taliban mullah, who, when he's not executing a weeping schoolteacher for educating girls or firing a barrage of RPGs at Nelson and his men, is peering through the red-tinted lenses of binoculars that suggest a satanic malevolence.

The movie is based on the real covert mission undertaken by the men of ODA 595 — one chronicled in Doug Stanton's non-fiction book “Horse Soldiers.”

"Being in this production allowed me to discover my inner strength", he says.

The film's hook is the idea of a handful of American soldiers single-handedly running the war in Afghanistan - on horseback, no less - and that feeling magnifies the emotional investment of the film. The final scene of Captain Nelson leading 12 men charging on horseback directly into the onslaught of torpedoes and artillery will leave an indelible mark on your consciousness. All 12 soldiers not only kill the Taliban, but they and their horses live. Explosions rock in perfectly cinematic plumes of smoke and debris - Jerry Bruckheimer is a producer, natch - but the crossfire lacks coherence and becomes redundant.

Even if 12 Strong is an accurate retelling, it's devoid of any perspective or opinion, which keeps the interesting cast (Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, Michael Peña, Geoff Stults, Moonlight's Trevante Rhodes, William Fichtner and Rob Riggle) from doing anything interesting to flesh out their characters. Negabaum's performance is one of the highlight of this feast of testosterone. I admire him as an actor and his image and everything. Just when you're ready for the end credits to roll, Fuglsig stretches out 12 Strong unnecessarily yet, till you are ready to bolt when it's finally over. Also, a fictionalised rendering of a young mother, murdered for home-schooling her daughters while Taliban thugs wave aloft and cite a text which states that girls should not be educated after age eight. Chris Hemsworth plays a character based on a real person, but the other characters are fictional, which means the incidents and battle details are fictional. When it comes to an Afghan woman's being stoned to death for adultery while buried up to her neck and another's being shot in the head because she dared to educate her daughters - both shown in the film - the lines seem clear enough. While we American woman are fighting for our rights in the #Me Too movement, Afghan women are being murdered if educated.

A remarkable story inspired "12 Strong", but the remarkable story actually told by "12 Strong" is a different remarkable story. I can not emphasize enough the importance of 12 Strong and how uplifting it is.

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