Film Review: Enemy In The Wire

The Outpost movie review & film summary (2020) | Roger Ebert

The Outpost is a recent war drama directed by Rod Lurie.  Eric Johnson and Paul Tamasy adapted for the big screen from a book by Jake Tapper.  Scott Eastwood, Orlando Bloom, Milo Gibson, and Caleb Landry Jones.

The film tells the story of the Battle of Kamdesh, which took place in Afghanistan in 2009.  It culminates into the assault from about 400 Taliban soldiers onto an outpost manned by just over 50 United States soldiers.  I had not heard of this particular event, but it did result in two army soldiers receiving the Medal of Honor a few years later from President Obama.

There apparently was some controversy surrounding this because the base is badly placed surrounded by mountains, which allowed the Taliban to descend from on high. There apparently was a hold up with supplies.  Air support was not readily available.  Some people in command took some serious reprimands.  The actions of the soldiers at the base are unquestionably heroic though, and that is most important takeaway from this film.

This is pretty intense and gritty cinematic experience.  The performances were about as genuine as anything I have seen in a while.  There were some moments where it was hard to figure out who was doing what during the battle sequences, however it’s a war movie, so even that’s a little hard to criticize too much.

The movie is pretty jarring to watch at times.  The gore of some of the wounds is explicit, but fortunately the camera does not linger too much on that.

This is a true story where some US soldiers die terribly, so it seems strange to declare this as something to enjoy.  I will say that this is something to see and appreciate for not only skilled movie making, but also the depiction of true heroism.  The men are shown to be a little argumentative and flawed at times, but when it’s time to fight, the camaraderie is truly inspiring as well.  We all hear about the brotherhood experienced among those who choose to serve and experience combat, but I think this is one of the best films to truly capture it in recent years.

This was a film that I only happened upon when I was curious as to what was being offered for the first trip to a movie theater since the pandemic restrictions were imposed.  I didn’t know much about it going in, but I was glad to have seen it after I left. This is one worth checking out for both the technical achievements and for the emotional impact of the storytelling.

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