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Oddly unmoving: Review of 12 Strong by Rashid Irani

The story of a classified mission in Afghanistan, carried out not long after 9/11, should have made for riveting viewing, but it offers nothing new.

movie reviews Updated: Jan 19, 2018 19:29 IST
Rashid Irani
Rashid Irani
Hindustan Times
War film,Period movie,Drama
Under the leadership of a gung-ho captain (Chris Hemsworth), a 12-member American special forces team is tasked with wiping out a Taliban stronghold.
12 STRONG
  • Direction: Nicolai Fugisig
  • Actors: Chris Hemsworth, Navid Degahban
  • Rating: 2 / 5

This is an earnest but curiously uninvolving account of a previously classified mission in which an elite American special forces team was deployed to Afghanistan in response to the terror attacks of 9/11.

Under the leadership of a gung-ho captain (Chris Hemsworth), the titular dozen was tasked with wiping out a Taliban stronghold and disrupting the operations of their al-Qaeda allies.

There are a couple of perfunctory family farewells and then the soldiers fly off into the desolate terrain. (Interestingly, locations in New Mexico stood in very credibly for the conflict zone).

Although some of the action scenes are photographed with genuine flair, none of the actors make an impression.

The US unit is working with an Uzbek warlord (Navid Degahban) and quickly adjusts to the new conditions. They confront their common adversary riding on horseback alongside Afghan rebels.

Danish director Nicolai Fugisig offers nothing that hasn’t been said more engagingly in other war films. Jingoistic posturing coupled with a thunderous soundtrack inure the viewer to the ceaseless carnage.

To be fair, some of the action scenes are photographed with genuine flair, but none of the actors make an impression. Not even Trevante Rhodes. You’d be better off watching his previous outing, Moonlight, instead.

First Published: Jan 19, 2018 19:29 IST