The Outpost

You know what I have had enough of? American made war films. They have devolved into pseudo propaganda in which Americans are always right to be involved in the war and incredibly heroic. They ooze patriotism instead of telling a story. The human story.

That being said, The Oupost is one involving the conflict in Afghanistan. It is based on the 2012 non-fiction novel by Jake Tapper. As its focal point is the Battle of Kamdesh. One in which the American division there is greatly outnumbered and seemed ripe for defeat….but of course they triumph. I write this without wanting to devalue those who perished in the actual battle or the courage shown by those involved.

A small unit of U.S. soldiers is stationed in Afghanistan in a remote outpost. It is located in the less than advantageous valley of three mountains. Soon the soldiers there are unexpectedly involved in the bloodiest engagement of the Afghan War in 2009 and of the entire 19 year conflict.

This happens after their commander Captain Keating (Orlando Bloom) is killed and they are being led by someone who does not want to be there. Morale is not great, but that is neither here nor there when the Taliban strike. Greatly outnumbered the 53 American soldiers go up against roughly 400 Taliban.

What the film and director Rod Lurie (Nothing But the Truth, The Last Castle) do get right is the harrowing nature of battle. Filled with fear, tension, blood, bravery. The way the battle is shot is ripe with realism. You almost feel like you are there beside them with bullets whizzing by your head and sweating buckets. As the viewer your stomach is definitely in knots. The ambush or battle scenes go on for 45 minutes and really capture the terror felt by all, even these incredibly brave men.

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