12 Strong

In the days immediately following 9/11, George Bush believed that Osama Bin Laden was being hid by the Taliban in Afghanistan. He demanded that Afghanistan hand him over, which they refused to do without concrete proof that he was responsible. So because everybody’s blood was up and something had to be done, they declared war. 12 Strong is about the first 12 guys who were sent over there on a special mission that they apparently did well, and quickly, only no one ever gave them the thumbs up about it because it was classified so they got no credit. This movie is their reward, but not a very good one. I would have preferred a sundae or an iguana or that new sunblock that has glitter in it. Instead what we got is yet another war movie, one that does little to add anything new to the conversation or the genre, one that feels derivative of other work and repetitive even within itself. It’s kind of long and boring and just not very good, other than the acting. Since that’s all the review I think this movie deserves, I will now attempt to act it out for you (minus anything graphic, or racist, hopefully) so that you don’t have to sit through it yourself. Of course, you still have my permission to watch it you wish. Or if you must. Or you can watch it without my permission, as may already have done (sorry I’m so late. I really did drag my feet on this one AND MY INSTINCT WAS CORRECT!) – frankly, you guys have done an excellent job of watching movies without my hand-holding, and I’m not sure if I’ve ever really congratulated you about that.

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When I told Sean I’d watched 12 Strong, he asked “The one with the horses?” Yes, yes it is.

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But not that one. Although, if you have a good memory, you know that apes on horses really freak me out. This movie just has soldiers on horses because there weren’t any Jeeps in Afghanistan. Don’t quote me on that. I just made it up, but it does explain the horses.

Chris Hemsworth plays the main soldier guy, who is just moving into a new home when the first plane hits the towers. Sad moment. Cannot make fun of that.

Good job casting the right Hemsworth, and even better, casting that Hemsworth’s wife to play his wife. Β I just had to google Elsa Pataky because she had an accent in the movie but it sure wasn’t American or Australian, and yup, turns out she’s Spanish, so that checks out. I clearly don’t know her from much else besides having married into the Hemsworth clan, and she’s clearly too busy pushing out blonde surfer babies to do much acting, other than the Fast & Furious franchise, which I will politely look the other way on.

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This is the real Hemsworth family, not the movie one. I’m 95% sure.

So being a proud American and a keen soldier, Hemsworth volunteers to do whatever is necessary, and so do Michael Shannon and Michael Pena.

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Once they’re over there, William Fichtner tells them they’re going to fight alongside the Northern Alliance leader, Dostum. I know the titles implies that there are 12 guys but I’ve only named 3 actors, so here’s the deal: the 12 get split into 2 groups, the brave and good and movie-worthy group goes to battle, and the other group stays behind in a fortified camp and they are just as important as the alpha group guys, just as good, even if they don’t really do anything. So Hemsworth’s group is a pack of 6, and they just focus on the most handsome 3, which just makes good sense.

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Do I look like the kind of man who gets left behind at base camp?

Anyway, then there’s like 2 hours of fighting.

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Well, no, okay, it wasn’t a dance battle. If there was a dance battle, do you think I’d be dissing this movie? No, there were your standard guns, guns, bullets, guns, rockets, explosions, guns, bullets, guns. The typical war boner stuff.

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Then an Afghani man drives a very hard sheep bargain

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The transaction was not cute in any way and upon reflection, I cannot for one bloody second remember why Michael Pena wanted a sheep so goddamned bad. Anyway, there was at least one truly horrific scene that I can’t make light about, and Dostum and Chris Hemsworth get all buddy-buddy when Dostum talks about his dead family. But then he gets enraged because some other American contingent is back his rival, so he abandons them, feeling betrayed.

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But then he comes back! And there’s more fighting.

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And an email from Donald Rumsfeld, being a dick (is that redundant?). Michael Shannon gets what is described as a “sucking chest wound” and they all act surprised that someone could get hurt out here (no sense of irony for all the Afghans who have visibly been blown to bits). Don’t worry, Michael Shannon definitely survives because he’s already fighting the next war, which is against books.

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Fahrenheit 451, starring Michael Shannon and Micheal B. Jordan, airs on HBO May 19th.

 

 

 

Then there’s some slow-motion explosions (did Michael Bay make a directing cameo?) and some very heroic music and other American propaganda bullshit.

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And then they all shake hands and touch peckers and go home, because JOB DONE. This movie has embarrassingly zero hindsight and very little perspective. This little top-secret mission comprised the first 23 days of the war in Afghanistan, and they really dropped some bombs and shook some shit up, but guess what? That war is ONGOING. As in, the longest war in United States history. But never mind that. Let’s focus on those first triumphant 3 weeks and let our chests swell with pride.

The end.

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42 thoughts on “12 Strong

  1. fragglerocking

    This is my favourite movie review by your good self in the history of your movie reviews. Thanks for making me laugh so much so early in the day. I will, of course, still see the movie because well, Chris Hemsworth.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Jay Post author

      Will people watch a gif movie?
      Scratch that.
      They watched an emoji one.
      Yes, I should make movies.
      Perhaps I already have?
      Except for the blatant plagiarism.

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
  2. bookbeachbunny

    Chris Traeger, Apes, Ron Swanson, Woody and crazy Michael Shannon… now that would be a movie! With a dance battle judged by tuxedo Thor πŸ™‚ Sorry you didn’t enjoy the movie but your review was awesome!

    Like

    Reply
  3. Liz A.

    Uh boy… Yeah, that’s so not something I want to see.

    Funnily enough, I had just moved on 9/11. I remember meaning to do some unpacking when everything happened.

    Like

    Reply
  4. ninvoid99

    That review is awesome. I have no interest in seeing that piece of shit film as I hate American propaganda films. I hate this ‘Murica! It’s bullshit like that which makes want to use the American flag as toilet paper.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Jay Post author

      Yeah, and that sentiment was possibly never higher than right after 9\11, which is understandable I suppose, but hard to take, especially in today’s climate.

      Like

      Reply
  5. Tom

    Bahaha! This is a monumental new achievement in film reviewing-with-special-effects. This is some funny shit, and

    That sheep gif may be the best gif i have ever seen!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  6. Experience Film

    I suppose having to sit through This ‘Murica-lover war boner is the price one pays for attending a movie festival in the state of Texas haha.

    Though, I’ve heard Austin is more evolved than the rest of Chris Kyle country.

    Like

    Reply
  7. sportsattitudes

    This post was so good I read it twice…as opposed to the film, which I wasn’t planning on seeing once. Thank you for confirming my suspicions…and taking one for the ‘team” by seeing it yourself. We salute you…

    Like

    Reply

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