12 Strong

In the direct aftermath of terrorist attacks of 09/11 the US military was tasked with assisting the people of Afghanistan in taking back control from the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. The one of the first objectives was to help The Northern Alliance, a group of warlords who opposed the Taliban rule, take the strategically critical city of Mazar-i-Sharif in Northern Afghanistan. A team of twelve Green Berets, code name Task Force Dagger, led by Captain Mitch Nelson (Chris Hemsworth) will have to help one of the warlords, General Dostum (Navid Negahban), overtake several Afghan villages before reaching Mazar-i-Sharif. Dostum leads about 200 soldiers and a varying number of militia. They have small arms are the only mode of transportation through the narrow mountain passes is by horse. The Taliban, led by Mullah Razzan (Numan Acar), have over 50,000 soldiers. They also have tanks, missiles, heavy machine guns and a supply line of more men and machinery coming in every day. Nelson and his team will have to go against these overwhelming odds in unknown terrain all on horseback. But these “Horse Soldiers” don’t hesitate and know that they have a job to and if they don’t terrorist will take control of the country and further terrorism will only escalate.

This true story is a well told and evenly paced film. It showed a moment in history and the immediate response by the military. It also told one of the more original stories of war. The Nicolai Fuglsig (Exfil) has some well-done action scenes and overall interesting cinematography. I enjoyed the story and for the most part the cast, which also includes Michael Shannon (The Shape of Water, Boardwalk Empire), Michael Pena (End of Watch, Crash) and Trevante Rhodes (Moonlight). Negahban as Dostum is good as the tough, untrusting warlord. I also enjoyed the mix of action and dialog on strategy. Where this film tends to fail is that for a true story it is made more like a typical action film. It is full of semi-cheesy one liners and poorly timed cliché a motivational moments. I really did enjoy the film but at times I found myself trying not to laugh out loud during what should have been serious plot points.

As far as an action film this was a fun story and brought the gun fights and explosions that you would definitely look for. It also shows some the strategic side of the war. At the end of the night I enjoyed the film even though I thought that it could have been a little more serious and a little less campy.

3 out of 5