“12 Strong” tells incredible story of the horse soldiers

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Photo Courtesy of MovieWeb

Will Salaverry, Copy Editor

12 Strong tells the gripping, true story of the “Horse Soldiers,” men who, in the wake of 9/11, volunteered to be the first people to fight against the Taliban. Directed by Nicolai Fuglsig the movie stars Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, and Michael Peña.

The film shares many thematic and structural parallels to the work of director Michael Bay. 12 Strong features intense, impressive action sequences that had me on the edge of my seat. Unfortunately, as in Bay’s films, amazing fight sequences dominate at the expense of successful character or plot development.

Full of committed performances, one of the most impressive cast members is Chris Hemsworth. To my surprise, Hemsworth escapes the “he looks like Thor” thing and does justice to his character.

Some of the most riveting moments aren’t even related to the war. The emotional gravity resides in the interactions between Captain Mitch Nelson (Hemsworth) and Afghans who also oppose the Taliban. In a standout moment, a domestic contact tells Nelson that he has “killer eyes,” and strikes an emotionally honest chord.

Other than this instance, the movie is very generic. With the exception of Hemsworth, the performances are typical of a war movie. The soldiers crack jokes and talk about home between fighting the Taliban.

Overall, the movie does justice to the actual story and I left the theater with immense respect for those men and what they did.

If you want to see a cool action movie that exemplifies the best in people and what they are capable of you will enjoy 12 Strong. If you want to marvel at a masterpiece of film with a deep, authentic voice, maybe save your popcorn money for later this year.

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