“The Outpost” is a genuine, gritty and compelling war thriller worthy of your attention. Rod Lurie’s latest movie mesmerizes in an explosive, entertaining salute to heroism.
Based on the “N.Y. Times” bestseller “The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor” by CNN’s Jake Tapper, a group of remote soldiers are defending Combat Outpost Keating, isolated and located deep in the mountains of Afghanistan. Amongst them are Staff Sergeant Clint Romesha (Scott Eastwood) and Specialist Ty Carter (Caleb Landry Jones) with Bravo Troop 3-61CAV as they defend against Taliban fighters in one of the bloodiest coordinated attacks during the Afghan War later to be known as The Battle of Kamdesh. For their efforts, Bravo Troop 3-61 CAV became the most decorated units during the war, but at what cost?
It’s a travesty nearly a decade has passed since Rod Lurie’s last film “Straw Dogs” (2011) and Lurie had been relegated to TV. Previous efforts like “The Contender,” “The Last Castle” and “Nothing but the Truth” were well-crafted political thrillers filled with fantastic, formidable casts. Lurie’s return to form with “The Outpost” doesn’t disappoint and joins the ranks with those fantastic films. Once again, another amazing and effortless adaptation from Lurie lingers in your mind long after the film finishes. Based on “The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor” by Jake Tapper, Rod Lurie makes the first truly great war film about Afghanistan in an exceptional effort.
Unlike most movies that glamorize war, “The Outpost” highlights the harrowing efforts of some soldiers’ split-second decisions and rising to the occasion with remarkable valor. Personally, I’m not a fan of war movies that glamorize gratuitous violence and cliched masculinity. For years, westerns were the go-to model with John Wayne, James Stewart, Randolph Scott, etc. being humble gunslingers there to save the day with good versus evil killing their enemies using immense bravado, machismo and gusto later imitated in action films decades later. Sadly, simplistic and over-the-top moronic, monstrous action sequences seem standard in war films, but what’s the point if there’s no substance? Rest assured, “The Outpost” provides stellar substance with story and action sequences similar to “Jarhead” and “Black Hawk Down.”
Unlike films like “13 Hours” and “12 Strong,” there’s a conscientious effort honoring those that lost their lives and creating a remarkable, realistic drama. Besides an obvious engaging and entertaining ensemble, Academy Award-nominated writers Paul Tamsay and Eric Johnson (“The Fighter”) deserve a significant amount of credit crafting a fantastic film Rod Lurie developed. The film focuses on some startling situations and an unbelievable scenario with heroes rising to the occasion. There’s no cheesy corniness, but a badass immersive, incredible experience. Make sure to watch this movie on the most accessible and biggest screen you can to fully appreciate the movie. It’s well worth the extra effort to view it as it was meant to be seen.Headlining the cast are Scott Eastwood, Caleb Landry Jones, and Orlando Bloom with Jack Kesy, Taylor John Smith, and Milo Gibson rounding out the principals. What makes the film so great is you don’t focus on the actors, but actually appreciate the storyline and feeling immersed in what’s currently happening with well-developed performances all around. Director Rod Lurie, a former solider and West Point graduate, provides perfect realism with conveying authentic action with his incredible cast. There are several American military veterans in various roles including Henry Hughes, Daniel Rodriguez and the real life Specialist Ty Carter. The amount of actual appreciation and attention to detail definitely deserves to be recognized. “The Outpost” is a terrific tribute to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice and a cinematic cautionary tale that puts the audience in the middle of it all. It’s a compelling and complex war movie with heart-stopping action. One of Rod Lurie’s finest and an absolute must-watch!
3 ½ out of 4 stars
In Theaters and On Demand July 3, 2020
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