No matter how much I try, I just don’t buy Thor as an American Special Forces soldier.
12 Strong is the story of the first American troops in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks. This special forces team works with local Afghan militias to fight the Taliban from an unlikely place- on horseback.
This is a pretty good little war movie that is a decent adaptation of the book The Horse Soldiers. The battle scenes are immersive and realistic. They use practical effects and pyrotechnics, and a lot of them, which was probably very expensive- but also very worth it. It was refreshing to see in a world that mostly just relies on computer effects nowadays. These effects and the sound design really put you in the middle of the battles that take place. The main members of the team are developed fairly well and have some good banter back and forth. The true story behind the movie is very interesting itself and I enjoyed exploring it.
All of my complaints with the movie are relatively minor. As I alluded to, I don’t really buy Chris Hemsworth in the lead role, though he does a fine enough job. A lot of the team, outside the main 4 or 5 members, is underused and underdeveloped. Another thing that bothered me more that it probably should have is the fact the movie goes out of its way to mention pretty much none of the soldiers know how to ride horses, but does nothing to show that riding horses has a bit of a learning curve. All of them just hop right on and start shooting guns from horseback.
For a war movie, it is relatively short at 2 hours and 10 minutes. The book has a lot more detail in it and the movie would have benefited from being a little longer. This is also the second week in a row I saw a movie that could have used a different director that wasn’t directing a big feature film for the first time. Unfortunately it shows at times. With that said, I was entertained throughout this movie. I consider it one of the better war movies out there. It’s definitely worth a watch, and in a theater if possible. I’ll give 12 Strong a 4/5.