The Outpost (War, Drama, Action) [True Story] (2019)
Director: Rod Lurie
Writer: Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson, Jake Tapper (Based on book by)
Stars: Scott Eastwood, Caleb Landry Jones, Milo Gibson, Orlando Bloom
Amid the war in Afghanistan, a team of U.S. soldiers were deployed to Camp Keating attempting to survey Taliban movements and keep the local population in check. While their location wasn't ideal surrounded by mountains, they do their best to keep hold of the situation and face any threats posed by the terrorist cell.
As a film production, The Outpost has done its best to stay true to the real-life events and respect those lives lost. Even starring one of the soldiers from the mission in SPC Daniel Rodiguez, it is clear what message director Rod Lurie tries to communicate.
The first thought that crossed my mind when this movie appeared on my list this year was "Generic war movie" not knowing much about it the meaning behind it started me off in a specific mind frame. When starting, the characters' introduction was elementary, using a standard font pasting the soldiers' names in front of them, very unimaginative. Even with a cast of actors like Orlando Bloom and Scott Eastwood, I wasn't entirely sold.
Nevertheless, The Outpost is one of those films; you can go into with nearly no expectations and be pleasantly surprised. Thus quickly moving on past my initial negativities. Cinematographically it is just sound, and it looks absolutely stunning and realistic. There are some interviews in the credits where even the actual mission survivors tell how shocked they were to realise how impressive and accurate to life it looked. Scene by scene The Outpost slowly builds up the tension only offset by short bursts of intensity. Those brief moments between the build-up make you feel like the operatives are walking on eggshells with a seemingly invisible enemy (at most times) haunting every scene.
What could've been an abundance of military action, with firefights after each other it does one better, taking its time during the first half leading to the firefight of a lifetime as all hell breaks loose. Even worse, the assigned Captain has left telling everyone they are meant to abandon the mission soon. Most excellently The Outpost doesn't seem to be focusing on heroism creating propaganda like American Sniper. Neither is it a harsh critique of the military system and the lives lost in the Middle-Eastern wars. It shows an authentic side of war that is seldomly seen; the soldiers are depicted as average people making the best of their situation and doing their job.
War, consequence, trauma, and emotion. Rod Lurie will likely be the man behind the best war film in the 2020s. If only I'd seen it earlier it would've ranked above The Windemere Children.
An excellent depiction of how war movies could be made.