This 130-minute film is an adaptation of a true story that was previously appointed as a novel by Doug Stanton’s Horse Soldiers. The story presented is a true story of US special forces that were dispatched shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
The film was directed by Nicolai Fuglsig, a photojournalist and director from Denmark. Film 12 Strong is his first feature film, having previously directed the documentary film Return of the Exiled which won the Gold Lion award at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. He has also received two DGA awards for the Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Commercials category.
Synopsis 12 Strong
12 The strong full movie tells the story of 12 US special forces sent to Afghanistan a few days after the terror incident that destroyed the World Trade Center building on September 11, 2001.
This film seeks to present a strong drama story by starting the story from inside the house when Captain Mitch Nelson (Chris Hemsworth) is on leave and playing with his wife and children. Adding to the dramatic side, even Mitch’s daughter was the first to see the terrorist events that took place on television.
This incident prompted Mitch to advance to the battlefield, whereas before he had asked to move the division because he wanted to spend more time with his family. Mitch and the team left for Afghanistan on a mission to conquer the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. He was determined to return home because of the promise he had made to his wife.
The film also tells the family of several troops under the leadership of Mitch. Hal Spencer (Michael Shannon) must depart with the sadness shown by his child and wife. While at the house of Sam Diller (Michael Pena), his wife tries to look strong in front of her husband.
When he arrived at the US military base in Uzbekistan, the troops were asked to cooperate with General Dostum (Navid Negahban), one of the generals of the Northern Alliance. It is not easy, Mitch must get rid of suspicion between them in order to work together. Especially because the number of troops they have is far less than the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
With these limitations, Mitch and Dostum must conquer Al-Qaeda and Taliban forces equipped with various sophisticated war weapons, including large tanks and missiles. Initially, Mitch’s troops were helped by airstrikes from the US military, but precisely at the crucial moment, airstrikes could no longer be launched.
Eventually, Mitch’s 12-man army and General Dostum’s troops had only hundreds of cavalry and war equipment as they relied on their bravery to march into battle areas and defeat their enemies directly.
It appears that this film prioritizes elements of drama to be explored deeper. It is interesting to see the turmoil of a military captain who is usually impressed always strong in all conditions. It is also interesting to see how heavy the hearts of the families left behind when the troops left for the battlefield.
Even so, the element of action in this film is also quite a portion. Tension after tension can be felt when some airstrikes miss, or when an enemy who is thought to surrender actually detonates a suicide bomb.
As a war film, the action side in 12 Strong tends to be less when compared to the portion of the play. Too many sad scenes and dialogues that for some people can become boring.
The character of Captain Mitch Nelson, played by Chris Hemsworth, is less explored by his background. Not told why Mitch was so trusted by his men, even though it was quite important in the storyline.
Besides Hal Spencer and Sam Diller, nine other troops did not get enough servings. This is quite unfortunate because when they see the title of the film 12 Strong, prospective viewers must be curious about each character, who they are, how their background, and their role in the team.
This could be a classic weakness of the film based on the novel, the inability to provide complete character background.