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'12 Strong' Review: Winning the Battles but Losing the War

'12 Strong' Review: Winning the Battles but Losing the War

"I have very vivid, vivid memories of 9/11", Hemsworth shared with Variety.

Hitting theaters on Friday is the new Chris Hemsworth film "12 Strong", which tells the story of a Special Forces team sent to Afghanistan in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks to dismantle the Taliban. It's as if the action took place in Europe during World War II rather than Afghanistan in the recent past.

The full cast of "12 Strong", premiered the powerful new war drama in NY. That's not to diminish the real heroism and courage of the actual soldiers who fought, but it is a criticism against the limited scope of the story 12 Strong seeks to tell.

Brian Truitt, USA TODAY: "What 12 Strong touches on in a real way, though fleetingly in order to get on with all that horse-on-tank action, is the commitment to service following the fateful day in 2001". In addition to Negahban's calm, measured performance, we see a character with a rich backstory, someone who has been embroiled in conflict for pretty much his entire life, suffered personal losses, and understands the difference between a soldier and a warrior.

In the case of 12 Strong, we get Mitch Nelson, and Hemsworth is...fine. There's nothing to build on, so Hemsworth just plays the stoicism and charm of the leader without being able to really add any depth. Otherwise, the finest moments of 12 Strong belong to either the characteristically intense Shannon or the ever-likable Peña, or both.

SIMON THOMPSON, IGN: "Bearing in mind that this is a Jerry Bruckheimer production, 12 Strong is one of his more restrained and considered exercises in hero storytelling even if some of the beats it tries to hit are slightly off. The filmmakers make that case mostly with images of September 11 - cut to a man's clenching fist - and through scenes and stories of the Taliban's violence". If only they had a better movie in which to prance, run and whinny.

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