Pros: Complete absence of unnecessary beauty and pathos; almost documentary reconstruction of events; realistic battle footage; the second half of the film is almost an hour of non-stop action; participation in creating a picture of the real participants in that battle; acting by Caleb Landry Jones Cons: The first part of the picture is deliberately leisurely and everyday; Most of the elements from which this war drama is assembled, you have seen in other films The Outpost / “Outpost”
Genre war drama
Directed by Rod Lurie
Starring: Scott Eastwood (Sgt. Clinton Romesha), Caleb Landry Jones (Specialist Ty Carter), Orlando Bloom (Captain Keating), Milo Gibson (Captain Yelasquez), Jack Kesy (Sgt. Josh Kirk), Taylor John Smith (Lt. Andrew Bandermann) and etc.
Студии Millennium Media, Perfection Hunter
Year of release 2020
However, before the start of that very battle, which in American historiography is called the Battle of Kamdesh, half of the more than two-hour running time of the film will pass. Deliberately leisurely in the first part, the action will introduce you to the soldiers of the 61st Cavalry Regiment and their unassuming life in the Keating camp. He will show you the army routine, the painful wait for a transfer to a calmer place, rare joyful and at the same time difficult moments of calling with family, simple unpretentious entertainment of soldiers. It will show them themselves as very ordinary people. A completely obvious solution, tested in dozens of war dramas – in order to empathize with the characters, you first need to get to know them better. Considering that staying in the Keating camp is associated with almost daily shelling and losses, this part of the film also builds up tension quite well. By the end of the first hour, you are already looking forward to the start of the battle.
It is useless to recount the turmoil and chaos of the battle in the mountains. Let’s just say that the authors recreated the day of October 3, 2009 literally minute by minute. The movements of Sergeant Clinton Romesh and Specialist Ty Carter around the base, shown in the film, literally repeat word for word the description of their actions that day from the award sheets for awarding both soldiers the Medal of Honor, the highest US military award. Interestingly, Romesh and Carter were the first US soldiers in the last 50 years to receive this award non-posthumously.
The director and cameraman of The Outpost show the battle as mundane and very simple as possible, but at the same time the dynamism of what is happening sometimes goes off scale. From time to time the cameraman switches to a hand-held camera, literally following the soldiers between explosions and earth flying in all directions. No Michaelbayism in the spirit of 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, no sparks, incredibly beautiful ricochets and explosions ten stories high. Bullets here are invisible, soldiers die from one hit, and leaning out of cover is unrealistically scary.
The filmmakers give credit not only to Sergeant Romesh, who led the counterattack and recaptured several critical perimeter points from the enemy, but also to Specialist Ty Carter, whose task was simply to bring ammunition to the firing points and help carry out the wounded. And The Outpost shows how difficult and heroic this work can truly be. And in order to run 100 meters under heavy fire or get out from under the protection of armor, you already need to be incredibly brave.
Interestingly, several soldiers who actually survived that battle took part in the filming of The Outpost. Ty Carter himself and Day One director Henry Hughes starred in small cameos, and specialist Daniel Rodriguez simply played himself in the film.
Famous actors were invited to play the main roles. Scott Eastwood (son of Clint Eastwood) played Sergeant Clinton Romesh, Orlando Bloom appeared on the poster in a small role as Captain Keating, Milo Gibson (son of Mel Gibson) played another outpost commander, Captain Yelasquez. But all of them, including Bloom, are outplayed by Caleb Landry Jones, who plays the role of specialist Ty Carter and shows the incredible range of experiences that a soldier experiences before, during and after the battle. Excellent acting, deserving of an award. In addition, at the end of the film you will see portraits of the soldiers who died in that battle and the actors who played their roles. Some are very similar to their prototype, others not so much. Caleb Landry Jones looks like Ty Carter’s twin brother.
And although The Outpost is a film about defeat (after all, the American military ultimately abandoned the destroyed Keating outpost, losing 8 people killed and 27 wounded), this is exactly the case when defeat is equal to victory. As it turned out later, the outpost as a whole was impossible to defend; it was built in the wrong place from a tactical point of view, and its supply was unsatisfactory.
As for the film, The Outpost most likely will not be able to compete with Black Hawk Down in terms of direction and camera work, but this film is not at all ashamed to put on a par with other films about the Iraq and Afghan war – Lone Survivor, Zero Dark Thirty or Sand Castle. This is a good movie.
A good war drama, unvarnishedly showing one of the battles of the war in Afghanistan