’12 Strong’ Review

12 Strong12 Strong is an American war-drama film directed by Nicolai Fuglsig and co-written by Ted Tally and Peter Craig. The film stars an ensemble cast including Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, Michael Peña, Navid Negahban, Trevante Rhodes, Geoff Stults, Thad Luckinbill, William Fichtner, and Rob Riggle. The film is based on Doug Stanton’s non-fiction book, Horse Soldiers, which tells the story of CIA paramilitary officers and U.S. Special Forces, in addition to USAF Combat Controllers, who were sent to Afghanistan to combat the Taliban forces immediately after the September 11 attacks. Chris Hemsworth is serviceable in his role as Captain Mitch Nelson. Hemsworth portrays the Captain as a good leader, a good husband, and a good friend. The character is also shown to have extraordinary military intelligence; being a master tactician on and off the battlefield. Michael Shannon is terrific as Chief Warrant Officer 5 Cal Spencer. The character is an older war veteran who has seen his fair share of military engagements. However, he is still willing to be there to aid his team in the battlefield as his experience is undeniable. Michael Peña is solid as Sergeant First Class Sam Diller. Peña is a chameleon of an actor and can place himself in many different roles. As Sam Diller, he is the team’s comic relief but can also be hot-headed at times. Navid Negahban and Trevante Rhodes turn in solid performances as Abdul Rashid Dostum and Sergeant First Class Ben Milo, respectively. Nicolai Fuglsig does a good job at directing the battle scenes and making the combat look believable. He also does a great job at capturing what stopping the Taliban means for the Afghan Northern Alliance and Task Force Dagger. Some of the dialogue between the characters is brilliantly written and shot in a way that keeps the viewers guessing who to pay more attention to. Sadly, this isn’t the case for all of the dialogue as there are times where it feels like swear words are thrown in just for the fun of it, making some of the scenes laughable. The story is pretty straightforward and moves relatively quickly focusing solely on the mission. We aren’t given a lot of time with the characters as civilians which makes it hard to care for them when we see them in battle. Therefore, when Task Force Dagger is in a dire situation it doesn’t feel as dramatic. I give a 12 Strong a Normal 6.4/10. It’s not the best war film, but it is definitely informative and worth a watch.

Leave a Reply