12 Strong Review – Spoiler Free
12 Strong is a film which comes directed by Nicolai Fuglsig and stars Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, Michael Peña, Navid Negahban, Trevante Rhodes and Geoff Stults. The film is about the real life story of the first special forces team that was deployed into Afghanistan after the September 11 attacks. This special forces team was part of the first response attack from the United States against enemy forces in Afghanistan.
Going into this film, I hadn’t ever heard of this group of soldiers before and didn’t really know much about their operation. It’s strange really, I mean did grow up during the time of the war in Afghanistan but I really don’t know all that much about what went on there. In a way I guess 12 Strong does help to raise awareness about what the US troops were doing in that region and it’s an interesting story that it does tell. I always like learning something new and these historical films are always great for that.
I’m not always one to go along and see a terrorism/war themed movie, especially lately as the genre is one of my least favourite ones. But this one had Chris Hemsworth in it and I was in the mood for an action war film this week, so 12 Strong was there to fit into my entertainment needs.
The story is genuinely interesting. I had no idea about how the US actually first went into Afghanistan and I had no idea that when they went there they partnered with a local Afghani general named General Dostum. Dostum is a name that I have no familiarity with at all, but he is shown in this film to be a central character and ally for the US and their victories in the war. 12 Strong provides an interesting historical insight and considering that this all happened quite recently it’s an interesting watch especially if you’re like me and you don’t know anything about what happened.
Going into these types of films, I’m not always so enthusiastic because they are always in way depicting realistic violence and the people from the terrorist side are always committing some sort of gruesome act or torture and it’s there for shock value most of the time, intended to scare the audience. While 12 Strong is not without a terrorist execution scene, it’s not as vulgar as other films I’ve seen. In terms of the tone and the level of violence, it’s not as high or as gruesome as something like American Assassin. But it does have its moments. For the most part this is an action film about 12 men from the United States which group up with General Dostum and they go from base to base in Afghanistan blowing stuff up, shooting people and riding a bunch of horses while doing so. As an action film person and someone wanting an action film at the cinema this weekend, I thought that 12 Strong certainly did deliver what I wanted from the experience. I wasn’t scarred by anything I saw and it was entertaining enough for me to be happy when I left.
With these types of films in this genre, there’s always a certain amount of propaganda that comes with them. Obviously this one is very pro-American in its presentation and there’s no doubting that in the film, these are 12 good guys we are watching and they are going up against the odds against the Taliban in their own country. What I do like and did enjoy with 12 Strong was that in essence the film is a victory story. It’s not a terrorism heavy film that’s looking to shock the audience, but one of a victory story within the war of Afghanistan. I’m not sure how historically accurate the film is and as always with history films it’s best to also do some reading about the events on your own to educate yourself further. But I loved the idea of a bunch of soldiers on horseback in the modern era and the fact that it happened in real life recently and these guys were able to pull it off using horses is impressive.
Chris Hemsworth is the main star in this film and he plays the army captain, Mitch Nelson. Mitch is this overconfident captain who has a strong belief in his own skills, but also great leadership over his men. I thought Chris Hemsworth did a fine job in the role and he’s always an enjoyable actor to watch. There’s also some good performances in here from Michael Peña and Navid Negahban too.
Overall this is an interesting film about a group of 12 soldiers from the US Army during the US’s first response efforts in the war in Afghanistan. It’s a story about a great victory in the war and of working together with a local general to achieve that victory. The idea of a bunch of soldiers in the modern era using horses in their attacks is something I haven’t seen from this film genre before and it made for some interesting action moments. If you’re going in to see this movie for its action moments at the cinema this week, it will certainly deliver that to you and Chris Hemsworth does well to keep things entertaining.