WARHORSE ONE – A Review by John Strange
Afghanistan. War in this country is never simple. Russia found this out many years ago. The U.S. spent 20 years before coming to this realization and deciding to pull out. Sadly, the pull-out left many civilians stranded in-country. That is the background for this film, a family of missionaries has stayed too long assisting others to get out of the country. They must now pray for help to save them.
The US re-tasks a SEAL team to cover the family as they race for the border. As the team’s chopper heads to the rendezvous, an RPG hits their craft, throwing Master Chief Richard Mirko (Johnny Strong) out the chopper door before it crashes with no other survivors.
Master Chief Mirko does his job. He finds the car containing the missionaries, only to discover everyone has been gunned down. All, except the young daughter, Zoe Walker (Athena Durner).
The chemistry between the SEAL and the little girl is wonderful. As the two struggle to survive and reach the pick-up point, the two bond in ways I have to say are heartwarming.
I have seen Johnny play many characters. He knows his craft and does it very well. His portrayal of the Master Chief is spot on. But I watched another performance that blew me away. Young Athena Durner took on the role of Zoe Walker and made it her own. She was amazing. I look forward to seeing her career explode if she decides to stay in the business!
And to shine a light on this film in a different way, I want to point out that this film was made independently. That means that if you watch the credits, you will see people with the same last name doing all sorts of jobs on the film set. And you will see that both directors play roles in the film, as does the principal producer.
And some excellent local Dallas, Texas actors have roles in this film. I have known some of them for years and their characters are performed very well. Watch for Youssef (one of the bad guys) played by Todd Jenkins. You will ‘boo’ and ‘hiss’ at his character as much as I did! And look to see the other jobs he had on the set when you watch the credits. (You mean you don’t watch the credits? Shame on you! The credits are how many of us get recognition for the work we do!)
This story is well thought-out and written. The film flows well as the two flee from the Taliban toward their extraction point. Excellent action. I give this one the highest marks!
Writer/Directors: Johnny Strong, William Kaufman
Cast: Johnny Strong, Athena Durner, Raj Kala, James Sherrill, Siya, Todd Jenkins, Danny Augustus, Michael Sauers, Xander Gòmez, David Ibrahim, Steve Mokate, E.K. Spila, Adam Dietrich, Jay Moses, Damian Turner
MPAA Rating: R (for violence and some language)
Selig Rating: 5 Stars
Runtime: 120 Min.
Theatrical Release Date: 06/30/2023
Digital Release Date: 07/04/2023
Local Release Locations: Galaxy Theatres Grandscape, Angelika Film Center & Café – Plano, Film Alley Weatherford 8
Movie Site: WARHORSE ONE Official Site
Trailer: WARHORSE ONE Official Trailer
The Selig Rating Scale:
5 Stars – Excellent movie/show, well worth the time and price.
4 Stars – Good movie/show
3 Stars – OK movie/show
2 Stars – Well, there was nothing else…
1 Star – Total waste of time.