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January 17, 2013

Movie Review: Seal Team Six: The Raid On Osama Bin Laden (2012)

Review By: Rob Sibley

Let's get this out of the way. This review could go one of two ways. I could attack the film for it's sloppy handling of real life events and the way the soldiers even carry there weapons is wrong. This is pretty much a Call of Duty film come to life but that's not a compliment. So much information is available on Seal Team Six and the raid on Osama that I cannot forgive the filmmakers for messing up. If this film was a work of pure fiction I'd forgive... but come on you have some A list talent on your roaster and hand them a script this clunky?

The other way this review could go is my own personal beliefs about the politics, which I prefer to keep to myself so let's just focus on the rights and the many many wrongs this film did. This review will written with “entertainment” in mind because trust me this is a film that is to fictional to take seriously. To see the real deal on what went down, see the much better “Zero Dark Thirty” a film that is nearly perfect on all levels.

Lets take care of what they got wrong first with “Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden”. First off this is a TV movie made for Nat-Geo and they have a history of rushing things into production and grabbing some B-talent and making films about topics that are hot off the presses.

I won't bother talking about the plot because it's a mess... I mean one of the Seals comes home to find his Junkie girlfriend passed out in bed and he carries her to the shower? Really? Necessary, nope just an excuse to get some T&A and bush into this picture. Which I'm all for, but for a film depicting important individuals and events I was shocked at the lack of care given by all involved.

Now let's get onto the biggest peeves I had with this turkey. Everything “technically” falls apart at the end. Why are you watching this film? You waiting for Osama to bite it like he deserves. But apparently the filmmakers must of rushed into production before the facts were published because the Black Hawk helicopters that the Seals piloted in real life were modified for stealth. The ones in the film? Just a regular UH-60 Black Hawk, no stealth. When the seals raid Osama's hide out one of his wives took some shrapnel to the leg... not in the film. The Seals also wore NOD's... not helmet cams. I'm guessing they wanted to “put the viewer in the middle of the action” and give you that FPS feel by doing helmet cams. But seriously if your going to call your film FACT, then get the facts straight you chowder heads.

The most fast palming event in this movie is when Osama finally gets it. Man o man... I'm not sure who they got the intel from but they were far off in this movie. First off Bin Laden took a bullet to the head when he stuck his head out of the doorway when he heard his name being called. He stumbled back into the room where he was shot multiple more times in the chest. In the film though? They rush into the room and Osama has an AK-47 in his hands and is lit up like a Christmas tree. In all actuality he didn't even touch the AK-47 that was sitting by him and it wasn't even loaded. 

Really they rubbished all the details in this film and if you call your film “Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden” then you better get your facts straight.

But all the negatives aside, a few things are alright. The cast for the most part is solid, two people in particular steal the show. Blonde bombshell Kathleen Robertson (Who can be seen every week topless on the show “Boss”) brings a lot to her role Vivian, she's smart and strong. Kudos to her, but really not all that different from her character on Boss. 

The second scene stealer is the always out of sight William Fichtner. Fictchner does what he does best and that's play William Fichtner. I'm not knocking the dude, I'm a huge fan. It's just that you can tell he's trying to elevate a piss poor screenplay and he knows he's playing in a losing battle.

Truly, I expected more with a decent cast and John Stockwell directing whose done some solid films like Turistas and Cat Run stumbles big time with this one. But who can blame him, your offered a chance to film history. Sadly it's a poorly scripted dumb-witted fictional account of history.

The 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 transfer should be stunning and it does look pretty damn crisp for the most part but the details never really “pop”. It's not a colorful film and for the most part you can tell this was shot on HD and during certain scenes they digitally downgraded the image to get that “gritty” look. They would have been better off shooting the film on Super 16 to get that look instead but hey that's just me. 

The audio though? The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is outstanding and do the job of giving you the “you are there” feeling during the films many albeit poorly choreographed gun fights.

For extras you get an 18 minute talking head piece which is interesting enough but who really wants to watch everyone pat each other on the back for a poorly made film?

Overall this film is a pure MISS for me. I strongly recommend that you avoid this flick and see Zero Dark Thirty instead. This film has it's head up it's ass and that's a shame. Skip this failed attempt.

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