Thoughts on 12 Strong – no spoilers

So have you seen 12 Strong yet? Based on a true story, the movie follows a military unit in the throes of a burgeoning war over in Afghanistan. Here’s the trailer.


Now, I don’t know exactly what scenes were based on the true story. I’m assuming a few things about what the reality was: yes, there were American soldiers. Horses, of course. And lots of sand. What else can we really be sure of, though? Like, for instance in the movie (don’t worry, no spoilers!) a few scenes are Taliban members talking to each other. Did the director of this movie really know what they said? Did he consult them for script dialogue? Maybe it went something like this…

Director on a long-distance phone call: “Hi there, I’d like to speak to the Taliban.”

[long pause, Middle Eastern music in the background, kids crying]…

Taliban: “Sup?”

Director: “Hey this is Nicolai Fuglsig, director of ’12 Strong.’¬†Nicolai Fuglsig. N-i-c-o– ya know, just call me Nick. Can you help me out with something? When y’all are being terrorists and stuff, what do you talk about? Is there– oh, I said ‘y’all‘…. it’s you and all but squished together…”

So they made up conversations based on what we know of the Taliban. Much easier than having to add them to the credits anyway, which would not go over well with audiences.

Overall, I really enjoyed the movie. There was even some humor so for me it hit a few of my favorite movie elements– humor, adventure, suspense, good vs. evil. It also made me really wish I was a hero who returned home to relative obscurity (because their mission was classified, the public had no idea what they’d done).¬†Well, actually I’ve got the relative obscurity down already, so now I just need to be hero.

Hmmm…. what to do today, what…to…do.

-Out of the Wilderness

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