The Outpost

THE OUTPOST manned up in 2020 as a surprisingly good war film, director Rod Lurie’s best movie to date, with a soldier-salty screenplay by Eric Johnson and Paul Tamasy based on CNN correspondent Jake Tapper’s 2012 book “The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor”.

Afghanistan, 2006. The Nuristan province in the mountains of the Hindu Kush, bordering Pakistan. A 53-man U.S. Army unit assigned to a precariously positioned outpost are attacked by 400 Taliban fighters.

Not a rah-rah puff piece making the case for that unending no-win conflict, the storyline sticks with a simple documentary-like depiction of the men involved, their day-to-day problems and the wild and desperate battle that eventually erupted. Saying the position was precarious is kid-gloving it—the indefensible compound was so poorly picked by their higher ups that a more fitting label would be insane.

Gritty acting, especially by Scott Eastwood (flint off the old Clint) and Caleb-Landry Jones, and intense action scenes. You don’t have to support the various U.S. government/s policy in the war—whatever the hell it is—to sympathize with the grunts on the ground and their backs-to-the-wall bravery. Going in, I expected this might be more b.s. like12 Strong, but it’s an honorable effort, exciting and believable, maddening and moving.

Shot in suitably rugged landscapes in Bulgaria. The large and signally impressive supporting cast includes Jack Kesy, Orlando Bloom, Milo Gibson, Cory Hardrict, Kwame Patterson and Celina Sinden. Made for $18,000,000, limited theatrical release took in $2,133,000 before it redeployed to streaming services. The 123 minutes rocket past like a barrage. Now, can we please just get the hell out of there?

 

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