After 9-11: 12 Strong

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12 Strong on BD

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR's CHRIS HEMSWORTH headlines this film as Captain Mitch Nelson, a military team leader who has never seen real combat and who has just disbanded his team to take a desk job. It was a good plan, and a good career.

But 9-11 got in the way.

Following the attacks on the World Trace Center in 2001, Nelson fights to get his Special Forces team back together and sent to the Middle East. Over objections, he is successful, and his team join up with one of the Afghan warlords, General Dostum (NAVID NEGAHBAN), to take on the Taliban. Their specific mission is to advance and capture the city of Mazar-i-Sharif, which is a stronghold of the Taliban.

12 STRONG chronicles US Army's Special Forces ODA 595's obstacles and victories, as they are forced to split their resources, battle on horseback, and take on an enemy with allies who are distrustful of Americans. It's more captivating to watch when you realize the story is based on actual events and actual people. (The film concludes noting there was no celebratory return for the soldiers because their mission was classified, that Captain Nelson remains friends with Dostum, who is now VP of Aghanistan, and that the mission is commemorated at the grounds of the WTC with a statue of a horse soldier.)

If you're a fan of realistic military dramas, 12 STRONG is going to be a must-have for your video library. If you're not a fan, it's still a compelling -- if sometimes plodding -- adventure that will resonate with those of us who remember the era.

Grade: 
4.0 / 5.0