12 STRONG: THE DECLASSIFIED TRUE STORY OF THE HORSE SOLDIERS – A Review by Cynthia Flores
This film is based on real events, and boy is it gritty in the battle scenes. It’s based on the book by Doug Stanton, titled Horse Soldiers, which tells the story of the CIA paramilitary officers and the U.S. Special Forces sent to Afghanistan immediately after the 9-11 terrorist attacks against us in 2001.
Task Force Dagger, US Army Special Forces Green Berets Operational Detachment Alpha 595 (ODA 595) headed by Captain Mitch Nelson (Chris Hemsworth) worked with CIA paramilitary officers to join forces with General Abdul Rashid Dostum (Navid Negahban) of the Northern Alliance to help conduct unconventional warfare against the Taliban forces. They were the first team from the US to respond to the 9-11 attack. They rode on horses with General Dostum and his fighters into the cities held by the Taliban with our Green Berets calling in the coordinates to drop bombs.
The casting on this is really good. Michael Shannon as Chief Warrant Officer Spencer and Michael Pena as Sergeant First Class Diller are standouts from the crowded team of supporting characters. The fact that the 12 men had to ride horseback in order to go far enough into enemy territory with General Dostum and his men was what made this assault that much more amazing. This team and the locals were going head-to-head against men with tanks. They had to get up close and personal in order to give the best coordinates for bombs being dropped from 30000 feet to be effective. It was their efforts that allowed other Special Forces and the rest of the conventional military to begin the war we watched on TV.
12 Strong is a bit predictable but makes up for it with great action sequences and a lot of well-earned patriotic moments. It’s good to see that the stories coming from declassified files are not all bad or shameful. In fact, what these 12 men did on horseback was so astounding that there is a statue commemorating the men at the 9-11 monument in NYC.
I give this film a solid B+ rating and hope you take the time to see it.
Directed by Nicolai Fuglsig
Selig Rating B+
Running Time 2h 10min
Drama / Action / History
Wide Release January 19th
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, Geoff Stults, Michael Pena, Trevante Rhodes, Jack Kesy, Austin Stowell, Navid Negahban
Movie Site: 12strongmovie.com
The Selig Rating Scale:
A – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
B – Good movie
C – OK movie
D – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
F – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.