“12 Strong” honors bravery, pays tribute to the American horse soldiers


Anyone over the age of 20 knows where they were on September 11th, 2001. No one could even imagine that three hours on a routine September morning would write a chapter in American history. Those horrifying attacks of terrorism killed thousands of innocent people and began the ongoing war on terror. Some people thought to themselves, “What next? How do we move past this?” and this is exactly what the movie “12 Strong” uncovers. In the following days, while people were coping with the tragedy of 9/11, 12 American soldiers suited up and embarked on a journey that sent a message: America won’t back down.

“12 Strong” is an American war drama directed by Nicolai Fuglsig and written by Ted Tally and Peter Craig. The film is based on Doug Stanton’s non-fiction book, Horse Soldier, which tells the story of U.S. Special Forces soldiers sent into Afghanistan war zones to combat Al Qaeda and the Taliban. They joined forces with General Abdul Rashid Dostum of the Northern Alliance group for local militia help, but unknown to them, an unconventional style of warfare was ahead. Task Force Dagger relied on their team leader Cpt. Mitch Nelson, played by Chris Hemsworth, to capture the Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif, a Taliban stronghold. Despite their extensive training and endless bravery, the American troops soon realized they were going to navigate the unforgiving terrain strictly on horseback.

This is a gripping American war story. It is packed with intense battle sequences, deafening bombings and seemingly endless amounts of gunfire. The cumulative effect is draining; you will leave the theatre exhausted, almost feeling as if you too have been to war.

This movie opened my eyes to what soldiers endure during their service, and gave me a stronger appreciation for those brave enough to fight for my freedom. I would compare the feeling of patriotism in my body afterwards to the ending of “American Sniper;” both movie theatres had a brief moment of silence afterwards where most thought to themselves, “wow, isn’t it great to be an American.”

It may not have a very deep plotline and the impressive line-up of characters can only do so much with their shallow characters, but at the end of the day, this is based on a declassified, top-secret military file that is strictly facts. The movie’s pros far outweigh the cons. Most importantly, this film appeals to all types of Americans. If you enjoy high octane battle scenes, compelling stories of heroism or even if you just want to feel good for a little while then “12 Strong” is the movie for you.