12 Strong – Not quite strong enough
Story was ordinary. Nothing you haven’t seen thousand times before. Pretty straightforward from the beginning till the end, but it worked. Dialogue was mostly sharp and clever, with a few missteps here and there. As it was yet another “based on a true story” there were moments, quite a few, that felt way overly glorified. Artificial even. But perhaps that was a necessary evil to create more meaning for characters. Which, speaking about the devil, brings me to the compulsory over the top villain, because bad guys have to be maxed out on all aspects of vile behaviour.
Acting was solid for the most part. Great cast all around. Hemsworth pulls his weight and the team follows. At times even blindly, which is fine, because the enemy (because they’re bad) shoot like stormtroopers. However, the next time I’d recommend taking more cover, and wearing a helmet couldn’t hurt either. Perhaps they’re too pretty and wanted to show it off?
Which brings me to visuals. Action was engaging and tense, nothing bad to say about that. Some key explosions felt a little flat though. Camerawork was enjoyable. Nothing too fancy and therefore unnecessary. No crazy “shaky cam” during the chaotic battle scenes, but a mandatory shell-shock sequence, which seemed a tad too familar.
The score and sound is decent. Both serving their purpose, but don’t really go that extra mile. In a film such as this there probably isn’t any need to. Unless one likes to challenge themselves to find out exactly how many guns are firing all at once during a scene or a take. If that’s even possible. No memorable song to listen to when riding into a battle either. Well. It really wouldn’t be much of a covert operation, crawling between the rocks, “Valkyries” blasting from the boom-box.
Same goes for directing. It’s a job done well. All in all. And despite some minor gripes, the film is enjoyable for the most part. But I cannot help but feel like it fell a tad short. It seemed a bit too clean and cut out. What was coloured in was kept exactly within the lines. I guess that’s that “based on” aspect. Life itself is much more colourful, it doesn’t care about borders. It’s ragged, jagged and jaunty. Quite like the truth. And there are many true sides to any true story.