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“THE OUTPOST” 5 out of 5 Stars on Blu-ray

 

Review by John Delia

“In 2006, the US Army established a series of outposts in Northern Afghanistan to promote counterinsurgency. The intent was to connect with the locals and to stop the flow of weapons and Taliban fighters from Pakistan. One of these was PRT Kamdesh. It was built in a remote valley completely surrounded by The Hindu Kush Mountains. One analyst said it may as well be called “Camp Custer”. His reasoning was simple and official.” – Filmmaker

Just making a statement that a film is based on a true story is one thing, but when it’s verified, you see a movie a bit differently. The screenplay’s shocking battle and the helplessness of the US Army fighters depicted in the movie The Outpost, is absolutely cringing. But, cringing isn’t even a strong enough word for it. This film shows the ability and tactfulness of our military under fire, but more so, the heroism.

A scene from THE OUTPOST courtesy of Screen Media

The fierce battle that took place at Kamdesh, Afghanistan on October 3, 2009 against the 400 Taliban with needed to be shown and recognized for the heroism. It’s more than that, it’s an eye opener and a sort of wake-up to what our armed forces are dealing with in that country.

The film opens with Combat Outpost Keating going about their everyday tasks that include dealing with officials of the local villages nearby. There’s always a sniper or two to contend with and the occasional local begging for sweets. CPT. Benjamin Keating (Orlando Bloom) commands the Tactical Operations Center (TOC). He reports to his higher ups daily and deals with situations as they crop up.

Caleb Landry Jones in The Outpost photo courtesy of Screen Media

Director Rod Lurie takes you through the daily lives of each of the main characters as they deal with their duties. He inserts the dealing with the local officials and even a couple of odd incidents that look like warning signs. Just as you think things are normal as usual he gives the viewer a taste of what can happen badly. Then he turns up the heat with the US Army Forces being trapped at the basin of the surrounding mountains and 400 Taliban fighters appearing on the ridge. Relentless beyond belief, the filmmakers hold back nothing for the viewer so be prepared when the invasion begins.

Most people burry their head when it comes to the fighting in Afghanistan since the war has been going on for so long. But, just about a little over one year earlier to the battle depicted in The Outpost there was an attack on another US Post at the battle of Wanat in Afghanistan. It was just 20 miles away from Kamdesh and our US Army troops held off an attack by 200 Taliban insurgents. It took the Kamdesh fight depicted in this film to finally pull our troops out of the area.

Orlando Bloom, Cory Hardrict, Jacob Scipio, Bobby Lockwood, Alexander Arnold, Scott Eastwood, Caleb Landry Jones, James Jagger, Celina Sinden, Jack Kesy, Taylor John Smith, and Milo Gibson in The Outpost courtesy of Screen Media

The whole cast does a courageous job of making the film look real. Acting out the heroic incident must have been a tough job, but the long list of pros that included Scott Eastwood (The Fate of the Furious), Caleb Landry Jones (Get Out), Orlando Bloom (Pirates of the Caribbean), Jack Kesy (12 Strong), and Milo Gibson (Hacksa Ridge) were certainly on the best game.

What makes the film extra special to me was the appearance of Daniel Rodriguez who plays himself in the film. Rodriguez was awarded the Bronze Star as a result of his bravery in the actual fighting that took place at this outpost in 2006 Afghanistan. Knowing that this production had someone who experienced the shocking battle first hand, makes The Outpost even more astounding.

A tip of the hat also to the sound, special visual effects, choreographers, stunt coordinators, and makeup for their part in bringing realism to the film. I can’t say enough about the expertise of Director Rod Lurie who was able to visualize what the battles feel like, the sets that bring realism, his work with the actors to give their all to the production and more. Turn on the Commentary after you have seen the movie and listen to his description on the making of this very convincing film.

BONUS FEATURES:
“Inside COP Keating” Behind the Scenes and Behind the Lines
“Commentary” Director Ron Luria
“Deleted Scene” Rehearsal
“Song Rehearsal” ‘Everybody Cries’
“Battle Scene” Blocking

The Outpost has been rated R for war violence and grisly images, pervasive language, and sexual references. The film is available on Blu-ray and DVD for home viewing. A suggestion, if you can without disturbing others, turn up the volume and chose a time when you can be either alone or with someone with similar interests so you get the best presentation.

FINAL ANALISIS: The film deserves the highest tribute. (5 out of 5 Stars)

Specifications and additional video information:
Cast: Scott Eastwood, Caleb Landry Jones, Orlando Bloom, Jack Kesy, Taylor John Smith, Milo Gibson, Daniel Rodriguez
Directed by: Rod Lurie (The Contender)
Genre: Drama, History, War
MPAA Rating: R for war violence and grisly images, pervasive language, and sexual references
Running Time: 2 hrs. 3 min.
Video Release Date: August 18, 2020
Original Theatrical Release Date: July 3, 2020
Language: English
Reviewed Format: Blu-ray
Audio: Surround 5.1
Video: Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
Subtitles: English SDH
Number of Discs: 1 Disc
Distributed by: Screen Media
Released on: Blu-ray, DVD

 

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