Based on Doug Stanton’s non-fiction book Horse Soldiers, 12 Strong tells a war story that was declassified nine years ago. It is about the first engagement between the United States and the terrorists who brought down the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and caused the airline crash in Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, 2001.
A few weeks after the attacks on our homeland, 12 Green Berets were inserted into Afghanistan to work in cooperation with a tribal warlord — Abdul Rashid Dostum (Navid Negahban), who has spent 30 years of his life battling the Soviet Union and terrorists protected by the Taliban.
This film contains a simple narrative that takes the ticket buyer from tragic defeat to an unbelievable victory. While the technology of the United States military is never in doubt, it is the human relationship between Abdul Rashid Dostum and Captain Mitch Nelson (Chris Hemsworth) that really sets into motion America’s victory over terrorism supported by the Taliban.
Of course, it is the IMAX visuals that makes 12 Strong stand out with the aerial photography of bombs falling from a B29 and the wide valley shots of the 12 horsemen raiding an enemy encampment. Director Nicolai Fuglsig’s visualization is as worthy as that of Steven Spielberg, James Cameron and John Ford.
For those looking for more humorous fare, Humor Me opens this weekend. Written and directed by Sam Hoffman, this comedy features a struggling playwright named Nate (Jemaine Clement) who loses both his job and his wife on the same day. Going broke, Nate moves in with this father Bob (Elliot Gould), who lives in a retirement village and likes to make crude jokes about male anatomy.
Clocking in at 90 minutes, Humor Me is the perfect running time to develop the absurd laughs that it earns. Good comedy builds on a logic that leads to a strong punch line. With a talented cast (including Annie Potts and Bebe Neuwirth) and creative use of black & white cinematography, Humor Me is the funniest movie thus far this year.