'The Outpost' is in Select Theaters and On Demand July 3rd, 2020.
At first, the film feels like two distinct parts: a slow introduction to the camp, the soldiers’ mission in Afghanistan, and their camaraderie starkly differ with the latter, intense Battle of Kamdesh. Yet, the seemingly frivolous frat-boy banter represents the bonds between them that fuel their survival instincts and drive not to kill, but foremost to protect each other. Rod Lurie’s film, based on Jake Tapper’s bestselling nonfiction book “The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor,” is an emotional and all-consuming recounting of the bloodiest American engagement of the Afghan War in 2009.
Both Tapper and Lurie persevered to illustrate a truthful and exhaustive account in order to present a holistic commentary on the consequences of war. Hundreds of interviews and extensive research were completed to understand the soldiers’ affected psyches and psychological trauma, which led to years of therapy, while also highlighting the military oversight and mismanagement of these “indefensible outposts”. Lurie, who previously served in the Army after attending West Point, was motivated to communicate this history of valor “because it will be the honor of your life to do so.”
The success of this movie is largely due to its technical achievements. The direction and camerawork trap the viewer in a confined setting and framing, just as the remote Combat Outpost Keating was surrounded by three towering mountains. The camera stays tight on the soldiers and utilizes many long takes to provide a visceral experience, especially during the 35-minute battle sequence.
Caleb Landry Jones gives an enthralling performance as Ty Carter, one of the first two living soldiers- the other being Clint Romesha played by Scott Eastwood- to have received the Medal of Honor in over fifty years. The main difficulty with the large cast is in keeping track of all of the characters’ names as soldiers are continually introduced. The rest of the cast features: Orlando Bloom, Jack Kesy, Milo Gibson, Jacob Scipio, Taylor John Smith, Cory Hardrict, and Alexander Arnold. THE OUTPOST is produced by Millenium Media and will be distributed by Screen Media Films and on VOD on July 3rd.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Nicholas Ruhrkraut (Contributor) lives in New York City but is a Midwestern boy at heart. He loves discussing everything film on his podcast "Oscar Wild," cooking and baking at home, reading, and traveling.
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