Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Movie Reviews: Lone Survivor and Noah

Last week I watched two movies from Netflix: Lone Survivor and Noah.  It was an interesting juxtaposition as each movie has completely different themes.

Lone Survivor is the true story of a SEAL team mission in the Hindu Kush mountains of Afghanistan that went horribly wrong. While on a mission to capture a Taliban leader, the four-man team is hiding in the hills around a village when they are found by three goatherds. After some debate, they let the villagers go which proves fatal as one of them tells the Taliban of their presence.  The team then gets attacked by overwhelming force.

I like this movie for many reasons, not the least of which was its positive portrayal of the U.S. military. Men risk their lives for their comrades, in some cases for men they don't even know. The battle sequences are intense and realistic. These are probably the most intense battle sequences I've seen since Saving Private Ryan. If you can handle the gore and the intensity, I strongly urge you to see this film even though it is tough to watch.

On the other hand, Noah was a mess. Based (loosely) on the Biblical story of the Flood and Noah's
Ark, the movie takes that story and turns it into an ecological "man-is-evil/nature-is-wonderful" message. While the special effects are pretty good (apparently every animal was CGI), the story is plodding and pedantic. For most of the movie, Noah thinks the Creator (the word "God" is never uttered) wants to destroy all of humanity because, well, humans suck and nature is so much better. The Biblical story does talk about man's violence and the movie does address that, but I don't remember anything in Genesis about the ecology.

And if you think nature isn't violent, watch a cheetah take down an antelope. Oh, and there is a lot of violence in this movie, much of it done by Noah and his supernatural helpers.

Add in that there is a lot of yelling a screaming and you have one very annoying movie. I wouldn't recommend this film unless you are a masochistic member of PETA.

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