Let me interject here on this film as I have seen it in its entirity. My understanding of the evolution of this project is that NSW began working with Bandido Brothers on this as a brief recruiting video similar to this one that they did for the SWCC guys. At some point, NSW determined that there was potential here for a full length feature film that would essentially provide a "Top Gun" type analogue for the Teams to really juice recruiting, but without all of the gay Tom Cruise histrionics. I am not completely sure why the Navy let this happen, and my assumption is that there were strong personalities behind this that got it approved. I am also not sure whether or not it should have been made. The guys in the film would say the same thing as they all refused to do it for almost a year before the powers that be in NSW impressed upon them that they would be doing something important for the Teams.
It has already been alleged on movie buff blogs (that I started monitoring after watching this last February) that this is a straight up propaganda film made to glorify war, Jesus, and Halliburton (not necessarily in that order). This meme is going to be more mainstream now that the trailer is out, and people can see just how awesome this film is going to be. The case will be bolstered (falsely) by the fact that reviewers are going to quickly note that there is no second guessing by the operators about what they are doing and who they are doing it to. There is no renegade douchebag (Charlie Sheen) character fighting his demons and endangering his comrades. In fact, what this movie really does well aside from the amazing action scenes is to capture the general attitude and tenor of SEALs in their natural habitat as it were. That is not to say that guys don't get in bar fights or DUI's or get divorced or whatever, just that this film is focused on a deployed platoon with plenty of work to do.
Let me also add that the cost of doing business in NSW is in no way hidden from view and that includes the cost to families as well. These costs are shown in explicit detail enough to make a guy like me watching it tear up pretty good. The SEAL lifestyle portrayed in the film is pretty accurate if not complete, and the considerable sacrifices made by SEALs with respect to their lives and family's lives is hammered home with authority.
My best friend in the Navy is in this film and he invited me to join his family to screen it last Spring. I don't think I have ever sat still bursting with pride for such a long time in my life. I have personally served with three of the "stars" of this film and they are pretty much who they are in real life in the movie. I don't see any Best Actor nominations in the offing, but my buddy's interrogation scene on the yacht is really quite outstanding.
Nearly all of the action sequences are performed with live ammunition delivered on target by real operators. The impact of that combination raises the quality of those scenes by an order of magnitude. You will notice the difference. Bandido Brothers shot this thing with a lot of helmet cams and from angles and perspectives that I have never seen before. Check that. Never seen before in a movie. I have lived those scenes and watching a movie that is so close to my own recollection of operating is pretty cool, but kind of strange. Parts of it have a distinct first person shooter video game feel, and I'm sure that gamers are going to love this movie for that reason alone.
The overall plot of the film is fictional, but the scenario is all too real as we have recent news of Iran using Mexican drug cartels as facilitators. The individual hits that the platoon performs however incorporate real SEAL Team scenarios from the GWOT that close watchers of the Teams (and every SEAL) will notice. The one scene in the film that I didn't like also made it into the trailer and I kind of hope it doesn't make it into the movie. I call it the "Sea Monster" scene where the Platoon Chief catches the bad guy following a sniper shot and pulls him underwater. That shit doesn't happen. Aside from that, the TTPs are all very good representations with some things held back for OPSEC.
While the guys in the film will not be compensated in any way from this film (which I think is bull$hit), there will be some portion of the proceeds donated to military charities certainly including the Navy SEAL Foundation. Obviously, I am strongly biased to like this film, but the action alone is well worth the ride. If you happen to identify with the guys and their mission along the way, all the better.
Former Paratrooper and Army Officer, "Blackfive" started this blog upon learning of the valorous sacrifice of a friend that was not reported by the journalist whose life he saved. Email: blackfive AT gmail DOT com
Retired Special Operations Master Sergeant, Jim Hanson ("Uncle Jimbo") is now focused on writing about the military, politics, intelligence operations and foreign policy. Email: jimbo AT unclejimbo DOT com
Writer, photographer, and raconteur C. Blake Powers is the Laughing Wolf. He is independent in politics and covers topics including journalism, military, weapons, preparedness, space, science, cooking, food and wine, product and book reviews, and even spirituality. Email: wolf1 AT laughingwolf DOT net Laughing Wolf's Amazon Wish List
Bill Paisley, otherwise known as Pinch, is a 22 year (ongoing) active and
reserve naval aviator. He blogs over at www.instapinch.com on a veritable
cornucopia of various and sundry items and will bring a tactical naval
aviator's perspective to Blackfive. Readers be warned: any comments of or
about the F-14 Tomcat will be reverential and spoken in low, hushed tones.
Email: wpaisley AT comcast DOT net
Mr. Wolf has over 26 years in the Army, Army NG, and USAR. He’s Airborne with 5 years as an NCO, before becoming an officer. Mr. Wolf has had 4 company commands. Signal Corp is his basic branch, and Public Affairs is his functional area. He recently served 22 straight months in Kuwait and Iraq, in Intel, PA, and senior staff of MNF-I. Mr. Wolf is now an IT executive. He is currently working on a book on media and the Iraq war. Functional gearhead.
In Iraq, he received the moniker of Mr. Wolf after the Harvey Kietel character in Pulp Fiction, when "challenges" arose, they called on Mr. Wolf...
Email: TheDOTMrDOTWolfAT gmail DOT com
Deebow is a Staff Sergeant and a Military Police Squad Leader in the Army National Guard. In a previous life, he served in the US Navy. He has over 19 years of experience in both the Maritime and Land Warfare; including deployments to Southwest Asia, Thailand, the South Pacific, South America and Egypt. He has served as a Military Police Team Leader and Protective Services Team Leader and he has served on assignments with the US State Department, US Air Force Security Police, US Army Criminal Investigation Division, and the US Drug Enforcement Administration. He recently spent time in Afghanistan working with, training and fighting alongside Afghan Soldiers and is now focused on putting his 4 year Political Science degree to work by writing about foreign policy, military security policy and politics.
McQ has 28 years active and reserve service. Retired. Infantry officer. Airborne and Ranger. Consider my 3 years with the 82nd as the most fun I ever had with my clothes on. Interests include military issues and policy and veteran's affairs.
Email: mcq51 -at - bellsouth -dot- net
Tantor is a former USAF navigator/weapon system officer (WSO) in F-4E Phantoms who served in the US, Asia, and Europe. He is now a curmudgeonly computer geek in Washington, DC, picking the taxpayers pocket. His avocations are current events, aviation, history, and conservative politics.
Twenty-three years of Active and Reserve service in the US Army in SF (18B), Infantry and SOF Signal jobs with operational deployments to Bosnia and Africa. Since retiring he's worked as Senior Defense Analyst on SOF and Irregular Warfare projects and currently ensconced in the emerging world of Cyberspace.
Major Pain --
A Marine who began his blog in Iraq and reflects back on what he learned there and in Afghanistan. To the point opinions, ideas and thoughts on military, political and the media from One Marine’s View. Email: onemarinesview AT yahoo DOT com
Uber Pig was an Infantryman from late 1991 until early 1996, serving with Second Ranger Battalion, I Corps, and then 25th Infantry Division. At the time, the Army discriminated against enlisted soldiers who wanted use the "Green to Gold" program to become officers, so he left to attend Stanford University. There, he became expert in detecting, avoiding, and surviving L-shaped ambushes, before dropping out to be as entrepreneurial as he could be. He is now the founder of a software startup serving the insurance and construction industries, and splits time between Lake Tahoe, Boonville, and San Francisco, CA.
Uber Pig writes for Blackfive a) because he's the proud brother of an enlisted Civil Affairs Reservist who currently serves in Iraq, b) because he looks unkindly on people who make it harder for the military in general, and for his brother in particular, to succeed at their missions and come home in victory, and c) because the Blackfive readers and commenters help keep him sane.
COB6 spent 24 years in the active duty Army that included 5 combat tours with service in the 1st Ranger Battalion and 1st Special Forces Group . COB6 was enlisted (E-7) and took the OCS route to a commission. COB6 retired a few years back as a field grade Infantry officer.
Currently COB6 has a son in the 82nd Airborne that just returned from his third tour and has a newly commissioned daughter in the 4th Infantry Division.