People have always loved Peter Berg directed movies (well, except for "Battleship" of course) but personally, I have always had some problems with his movies. It's hard to put my finger on but somehow the emotions and drama in them never click with me and this movie is no exception on that.
Something too forced and over-the-top about all of it. His movie try to be realistic ones but they never work out as such for me. They don't feel genuine with their story and storytelling and his movie often make some odd decisions at times with its story and storytelling as well.
It didn't really bothered me at first but toward the end it suddenly hit me that this movie was too much of a love letter to the navy. His last movie "Battleship" had some weird, misplaced, 'love letter moments' in it as well. After some quick research I learned that Berg's father is an ex-Marine and Berg himself was embedded with SEAL Team Five for nearly a month, in preparation for this movie. Two reasons why Berg is probably so incredibly respectful toward- and 'in love' with the Corps. And that's all perfectly fine of course but because of this, this isn't always being the most realistic and fairly balanced movie to watch.
Heroic, slow-motion deaths are for instance misplaced and weird to see in a movie that's trying to tell a realistic story, with a realistic atmosphere to it. It definitely took me out of the movie. I'm not saying that this movie is too patriotic or military propaganda, that besides glorifies war and violence but it definitely is one that's too much in 'love' with its subjects, which does become distracting.
It's also an incredibly crystal clear and crisp looking movie, which perhaps sounds like a compliment and a true positive thing but in this case it really isn't. It takes all of the rawness and realism out of the movie. Whenever there is an action scene, it's something specular and amazing to look at, rather than something tense, raw and very realistic, which was the direction that the movie was actually trying to go for. I didn't ever feel involved with any of the movie its characters and moments.
The movie itself is pretty basic and straightforward with its story and character development. One mission, only a handful of characters and that's it. It basically comes down to it that this movie is like one, long, big action scene, with the exception of the start of the movie. It sounds great and awesome perhaps and it also definitely makes this movie a perfectly fine and watchable one but at the same time, it isn't a very memorable one or one that ever emotionally stands out because it isn't doing all that much really.
I liked most of the actors in the movie though. OK yes maybe Mark Wahlberg wasn't the best choice as the movie its main lead but the supporting actors such as Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster and Eric Bana were all great to watch in this.
It's a good movie to watch but nothing more but just a good movie though.