New film, '12 Strong', retells true story of 9/11 heroes

Ruben Ruiz
January 19, 2018

But it's hard to shake the feeling that 12 Strong-based on Doug Stanton's 2009 book Horse Soldiers, about U.S. Special Forces troops who traveled to Afghanistan shortly after 9/11 to confront Taliban forces-should add up to more than it does.

He said that making sure everything was as correct as it could be was "really important" to him since he was helping tell this true story.

Mitch (Hemsworth) has been promoted and now has a desk job. But as war stories go, 12 Strong amply provides yeoman's service to the genre and to actual history. Even though he's never actually seen combat, Mitch fights to get redeployed with Chief Warrant Officer Hal Spencer (Michael Shannon) and the rest of his men, who all volunteer to head to Afghanistan as part of Task Force Dagger. Nelson's mission is to meet up with rebel leader General Dostum (Navid Negahban), win his trust, and work with his forces to bring down the vital Taliban outpost at Mazar-i-Sharif.

The only moments where 12 Strong becomes remotely interesting is when we get a glimpse of Dostum. The actress, who plays Hemsworth's character's wife, joked about her role Sunday on Instagram.

Chris Hemsworth and Michael Shannon lead the cast to tell a story about the unique bond made between the soldiers and their patriotism.

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By necessity, the script is a bit light on the families-left-behind aspect - it would have bogged down a film already more than two hours long - and the back stories only touch on a handful of the 12 soldiers, also by necessity.

One of the problems is that there have been so many war pictures, this all feels so familiar.

These real-life heroes say they're amazed at how accurately the movie depicts their experiences from the battle.

Instead, it's just another rote war movie that would rather be an action film rather than consider the weight of war, whether it's this conflict or any conflict.

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