It's been a while since we got a pure Jerry Bruckheimer action picture. Those of us who grew up during the '90s know exactly what that means - a ton of explosions, military fetishism, jingoism, and grizzled, good looking guys yelling and shooting machine guns at each other. Granted, it helped that Michael Bay and Ridley Scott were helming pictures like The Rock ('96) and Black Hawk Down ('01), but the legendary super producer's brand was built around these key ingredients, combined with some ludicrous high pulp storylines.
12 Strong looks to be resurrecting a few of those elements (well, the military fetishism and jingoism, at the very least), telling the "true story" of a small band of American soldiers in Afghanistan joining forces with local Afghan troops to fight the Taliban on horseback, navigating the unforgiving terrain with World War I-era tactics. Formerly known as Horse Soldiers (a title which is still reflected in the egregiously long subtitle The Declassified True Story Of The Horse Soldiers), Chris Hemsworth stars alongside Michael Shannon, Trevante Rhodes and Michael Peña.
Take a look:
Now, there are certainly some eyebrow-raising ingredients here. The spot fixates on September 11 worse than a Republican War Hawk, and it'll be interesting to see how the enemy (not to mention the Afghan allies) is portrayed, as there's definitely a good deal of "rah rah" bullshit being sold in these two-and-a-half minutes. Nevertheless, the nostalgic genre fan in me still wants to give this a chance (as I miss pre-Pirates Bruckheimer), and the cast is undeniably solid. Guess we'll find out January 19, 2018 if any of it amounts to anything.