Monday, June 29, 2020

Movie with Abe: The Outpost

The Outpost
Directed by Rod Lurie
Released July 3, 2020

War affects people, whether they’re directly involved in a conflict or simply have the misfortune of being right in the middle of a war zone. There’s a difference between wars that happen at home and those that are abroad, since the people can separate themselves from what’s happening if they’re only reading about in the newspaper or watching it on the news rather than encountering it where they are. Soldiers sent into combat in a faraway place are transported from safety to somewhere that they know brings with it a danger they may not be able to escape.

The Combat Outpost Keating is established in northeastern Afghanistan as a way to defend against Taliban attacks in the region, situated in a precarious and vulnerable valley. Captain Benjamin Keating (Orlando Bloom) leads a group of American soldiers who face frequent surprise offensives when they become the target of gunfire from the mountains above. As they attempt to keep the peace and show the tribes in their vicinity that they only want to help, the soldiers, including Staff Sergeant Clint Romesha (Scott Eastwood) and Specialist Ty Carter (Caleb Landry Jones) prepare for a harrowing and deadly battle they know could leave no survivors.

This film is based on CNN journalist Jake Tapper’s nonfiction book “The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor,” which recounts the Battle of Kamdesh, which resulted in many casualties and posthumous military decorations. Like a war movie set in any time period, it’s necessary to introduce specific characters, who in this case are based mostly on real soldiers, to anchor a film that, when bullets are flying, doesn’t have time to stop and focus on the names of those who get hit by senseless, undiscriminating fire. This film seeks to do justice nonetheless to their memories by commemorating the bravery of all those who fought valiantly and either lost their lives or came out forever scarred by this experience.

One of the most recognizable faces in this film is a non-American, Bloom, who bursts onto the scene to take charge of an unexpected situation, never losing his calm despite considerable pressure. Eastwood, who bears a resemblance to his very famous father, Clint, and Jones compellingly convey the stresses of being in an uncertain place while trying to feel as normal as possible. This film delivers on its mission to capture what it truly feels like to be trapped in a war zone knowing that the goal is to stay there despite the constant threat of the unknown, presenting an affecting and involving immersion in a life-or-death scenario.


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