Sunday, March 24, 2013

Zero Dark Thirty

This is the last Oscar-bait movie I had to see this year making it four in total after Argo, Django and Lincoln. It was 2010 when first last elected to see 4 Oscar nominated movies but this is the first time since that I enjoyed all four.

I had very mixed feelings about this particular movie being made as I felt that not enough time had passed since May 1st 2011 and there were certain aspects of the movie which are not only false but could certainly be detrimental to counter-terrorism efforts. As for reviewing the movie itself, it provided an additional conflict as I was ████ ██████ ███████ ███████ ████ ███████ █████ ██ ██████ ███████ █████ ████ and because of that I suspect that some of this review will need to be redacted.

Kathryn Bigelow directed the somewhat silly Point Break and the intense K-19: The Widowmaker before her fame was cemented in 2010 when her movie about a U.S. Army E.O.D. team during the Iraq War, The Hurt Locker, earned 6 Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay thanks to Mark Boal. Therefore when Boal and Bigelow announced a team up and that they were creating a movie about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden and the Battle of Tora Bora. I was personally thrilled because in Dec '01 I was the commander of  ████ ██ ████ ███████ ███████ ████ ███████ █████ ██ ██████ ███████ █████ ████ and it would be "fun" to have seen me being played on screen by Liev Schreiber or someone.

However just as they were about to start filming when Bin Laden was killed and they felt that the  movie they had planned would no longer be viable, so they scrapped the whole thing and created Zero Dark Thirty - the story of the intelligence operation which began tracking Bin Laden to his Pakistani hideout in Abbatobad and the raid which which ended the life of the world's most wanted man.

Bigelow created Maya, a young CIA officer whose single-minded determination for the capture/killing of Bin Laden drove her to success. Despite it being wonderful drama, redheaded actress Jessica Chastain being easy on the eye and the obvious fabrications that a director without military public affairs support had to create I felt that her choices differed too much from the reality of  ██████ ████ ███████ █████ ██ ██████ ███████ █████ █████ ████ ████ ███████ █████ ██ ██████ ██ ██████ █  ████████ █████████ ██ ████ ██████ █ █ █████ █████ █████████ ████ ███████ █████ █ █ ██████ ██████████ █████████ █ █ ███████ █████ ███████ ███████ █████ ███ and this made it difficult for me to accept on screen.

There was a bottom-heavy "action-imbalance" to the movie as a result of Bigelow's choices or Boal's writing which made it a difficult movie to watch. The first 75% of the movie was dedicated to Maya's hunting, tracking and sifting through intelligence reports. This is how intelligence work is done in reality of course but take it from me, the "action-imbalance" is 97% against the 3% where we take them out with a drone or strike team. But this is a movie and civilians don't want to see this, they want their action. We should have had Abattobad confirmed at most 45mins in, then the planning and an obligatory training montage for the SEALs before the actual raid, which I'll concede was filmed brilliantly.

It's a shame that she couldn't include ██████ █████ ██ ██████ ███████ █████ █████████ ████ ███████ █████ ██ ██████ ███████ █████ █████████ ████ ███████ █████ ██ ██████ █████ because that would have been great to see on screen but I doubt anyone knows about it yet.

Final Verdict: A wonderfully directed and technically competent movie but enshewed the drama of the true reality which would have made it truly great.

Colonel Creedon Rating: ***1/2

1 comment:

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