Sarah Fairchild/Copy Editor
One of the main standouts of this movie is that it is acutely aware of what it is. This movie was not made to detail the extreme gore and violence of war, nor was it made to shock-and-awe the audience with a never before seen take on the brutality of fighting. No, this movie was made to tell a story, and tell a story it does.
Based on the true narrative of the horse riders, 12 Strong brings you along for the intense, race-against-the-clock scenario that a dozen soldiers volunteered for after the fall of the twin
towers. The audience follows Captain Nelson and his eleven teammates as they are sent to Afghanistan as the first retaliatory strike against the Taliban.
From the heart-pounding action scenes, to the slower character-building moments, this movie is a seamless blend of stunning visuals and great pacing. While it’s nothing groundbreaking, cinematographer Ramesus Videbaek brings the story to life with smartly shot scenes that ground the film in reality, and music director Lorne Balfe assists in capturing the tone of each moment with his originally scored soundtrack.
The other notable factor that truly sets this film apart from other war movies is the incredible realism. Each character’s reaction, dialogue, and personality feel accurately representative of real life.
In one scene early on, just after the attack on the world trade center, a group of soldiers was out on a field training exercise complaining about the tardiness of the people who were supposed to pick them up. Having not yet been informed of the national emergency, they
had no reason to hold back the sarcastic jesting about the pick-up team stopping at Starbucks on the way over. It is little moments like this- invariably human moments- that bring a refreshing sense of realism to the entire narrative.
While 12 Strong might not be one of the greats in cinematic media, it does exactly what it set out to accomplish: tell the never-before-told tale of the 12 brave soldiers who volunteered to strike back at those who dared to attack their home. If you’ve got the time and some dollars to spare, head on over to the theater, nab some popcorn, and enjoy the amazing true story
of the horse riders.