Strong movie review: American soldiers against an army that takes no prisoners

Warner Bros

Warner Bros

So 12 Strong is not a war movie for those squeamish about blood or flag-waving.

The movie's plot is summed up in the title of the inspiring book: following the events of 9/11, a U.S. Special Forces team is deployed to Afghanistan to join forces with Northern Alliance General Abdul Rashid Dostum (Navid Negahban) in the fight against the Taliban government. Jousting with automatic weapons is something we dont see often.

The actor, born in Mashhad, Iran, said the director of "12 Strong", Nicolai Fugslig, was who originally drew him to the project, as he has seen some of Fugslig's music videos. This is one of those incredible true stories that reveals an entirely new side to a conflict and informs the viewer.

Screenwriters Ted Tally and Peter Craig do not do the best of jobs explaining how it came to be that Mitch, who has no live-combat experience, is the leader of a unit that, we are told, earned glory during Operation: Desert Storm. For instance, Liam recently took to Instagram to share an image of his dog Tani chewing on a figurine of Chris' superhero character Thor, much to his brother's amusement. His past credits include Showtime's "Homeland" and Clint Eastwood's "American Sniper". The quiet strength he brings to each role he portrays is spellbinding - I found it hard to take my eyes from him when he was on the screen. He was "a real person, not just a caricature". Like maneuvering along high, narrow ledges at the film's remote New Mexico locations while wearing 40-pound backpacks and brandishing powerful M4 assault rifles. That there was a pattern of attacks going back nearly 10 years before 9/11, and then when it happened, our most elite special forces unit still showed up in country with not a single person speaking the local language and caught off guard by the fact that they'd have to ride horses (which is to say, having no idea how our closest allies in the area actually fought, against our acknowledged greatest threat) is a damning indictment of pretty much the entire national security apparatus, if not the culture as a whole.

Pennington and Nutsch, who are working on a book of their own, hope "12 Strong" may inspire a future generation of military leaders to enlist now. But the well-chosen, charismatic cast makes the most out of the material.

"I had an wonderful experience just working with him [Ritchie] and the rest of the cast".

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"For me, it is a very important story to tell. He wants to stay as close as possible to the core of the characters and what the characters are representing".

The actor will also soon be joining the second season of the popular FX program "Legion". Usually I am very much opposed to the Animal House style "here's what happened to everyone" ending, and of course that is how 12 Strong ends.

Negahban revealed the "Afghan community" was hesitant at first to participate in the movie.

On that note, all the pyrotechnics translate into quite a bit of bloody mayhem, which straddles the line between PG-13 and R-level violence (the film's rating comes from its frequent profanity more than anything else).

"Two days I ago, I was in Atlanta finishing Avengers in my Thor garb", says Hemsworth, with a satisfied air as he settles into a seat at the London Hotel. "I'm truly, truly grateful to all of them". What 12 Strong does deliver, however, is a rousing tribute to the bravery of soldiers whose contributions went unheralded for years.

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