The new gun-heavy movie 12 Strong just opened in theaters. It’s based upon the declassified story of the twelve American Special Forces troops who went into Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks. The movie that celebrates American exceptionalism. The American left hates it . . .
As with “American Sniper,” critics writing for left-leaning publications are panning the movie and its portrayal of the enemy. ‘12 Strong’: Formulaic war movie tells the true story of American ‘horse soldiers’ of Afghanistan, The Washington Post proclaims.
Formulaic but true! Go figure. Or read this from their man Michael O’Sullivan:
Although the Americans complain that it’s hard to tell who they’re fighting against — even their allies treat them with suspicion — it’s abundantly clear to the audience who the bad guy is. The enemy is embodied by an almost cartoonish, black-clad Taliban mullah, who, when he’s not executing a weeping schoolteacher for educating girls or firing a barrage of RPGs at Mitch and his men, is peering through the red-tinted lenses of binoculars that lend him a satanic malevolence.
As TTAG’s resident war hero John Wayne Taylor will tell you, that’s nothing compared to the casual cruelty the Taliban inflicted on Afghan locals, day in, day out. The rape, torture and killing of small children. The craven murderous assaults on unsuspecting American soldiers. Acts well beyond any idea of human decency. Acts that would turn your stomach.
What turns my stomach: the way O’Sullivan can’t credit the movies heroes — and that’s what they are — for their patriotism, heroism, professionalism and honor.
Far from the rah-rah kind of war story that some may be used to, “12 Strong” is suffused with cynicism. Although refreshing in a way, that attitude flies in the face of everything else that the movie tries to tell us: That Mitch and company are fighting to right a wrong, and that it matters. More often than not, “12 Strong” feels like a sports movie, where all the stakes rest not on matters of honor and duty, but on a single field goal.
Here’s another bit of bile from the appropriately named Slant Magazine:
…masses of faceless Taliban fighters drop to the ground like flies as tiny traces of CGI blood spurts into the air before quickly vanishing. [Director] Fuglsig particularly revels in the destruction caused by bombing raids, which he often captures in sweeping aerial shots that give us a bird’s-eye view of the awesome might of the American empire.
That the men who die in these battles might not be purely “evil,” that they too might have families, friends, and lovers, is a nuance that 12 Strong doesn’t care to discern…
That the Taliban American forces killed might not be “purely evil”? The men who execute little girls for receiving an education beyond age eight – along with those who teach them? The men who gleefully bugger little boys, who cut off a woman’s thumb for the crime of polishing her nail.
As I said, veterans could tell you tales that would make anyone with a shred of humanity blanch in horror.
Wishing the destruction of evil people is no evil — unless you lack a conception of right and wrong. if you want a list, click here to read Hollywood in Toto’s round-up of self-righteous progressives slamming 12 Strong for daring to portray American soldiers in a positive light.
The good news: the public likes it. As of this writing, Rotten Tomatoes critics’ survey pegs it 54 percent favorable. Seventy-one percent of movie-goers bless it with a “fresh” rating.
12 Strong beat studio projections over the opening weekend, earning $15.8 million, earning it an “A” CinemaScore. You can do your part by buying your ticket, and turning your back on Americans who reject the values upon which this country was founded.