A lot of people are going to be watching National Geographic’s film about the Seal 6 team and the bin Laden raid.
Watching it, right away you know you’re going to love it, but feel guilty for doing so. The big reveal is instantaneous, from the very first line: “what do you want me to talk about.” Spoken by a man, strangely enough, who’s speaking right at the camera. And then you realise: this whole movie will be narrated as if the raid participants are in some faux reality TV/documentary confessional.
It makes you shudder.
The cliches dont stop there. The whole picture is actually a frankenmovie, with every modern and maybe a little older than modern TV and military cliche stitiched into one one hour and 30 minute National Geographic movie.
Here a few of the most notable cliches:
- Military guys that speak like civilians think they speak: The producer (oddly enough, poached from the same The Hurt Locker crew who is now producing the competing Zero Dark 30) and director say they talked to “former SEALs and members of the intelligence community” for their material. Even if they did, the quotes pulled sound exactly like what a civilian would expect a SEAL to say.
- CSI Crime-type graphic animations and concurrent ‘suspense’ soundtrack: This is almost unbearable. Moving on.
- The Reality TV confessional style of faux nonfiction: This isn’t Modern Family, this isn’t the Jersey Shore, so why are pretending like it is? Weinstein, the executive producer for the movie, didn’t have the biggest budget, that could be why. It could also be because most of America responds to this format.
- Digital military typing sounds and Black Hawk Down map sequencing: If you’ve seen it, you know what I mean. Does every military movie have to use those digital sounds to identify new contexts and names of people?
- Combination of documentary footage with produced footage: A lot of films do this to juxtapose competing images (Obama at the Press Dinner with SEALs preparing for the raid), but this film goes a bit overboard. Admittedly, it does set a tone, but it’s as cheaply established as the use of confessional style interviews.
All that being said, the movie was incredibly gripping and I couldn’t help but keep watching it, but I felt intellectually guilty afterward.
Here’s the trailer and the you can watch the movie on Netflix.
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