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12 Strong: Rousing tale of 9/11 vengeance

 

By Damon Smith

Valiant men rage against the Taliban in the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks in the feature directorial debut of Danish film-maker Nicolai Fuglsig, which is based on Doug Stanton's non-fiction book Horse Soldiers.

Captain Mitch Nelson (Chris Hemsworth) watches in horror as co-ordinated terrorist attacks strike at the beating heart of 2001 New York.

He petitions to lead a crack team of US Special Forces, codename Dagger, into Afghanistan to strike back against the enemy.

Chief Warrant Officer Cal Spencer (Michael Shannon), Sergeant First Class Sam Diller (Michael Pena) and Sergeant First Class Ben Milo (Trevante Rhodes) are among the US soldiers who proudly volunteer to serve alongside the captain.

Mitch bids farewell to his wife Jean (Elsa Pataky) and young daughter Maddy (Marie Wagenman), then heads into perilous mountain terrain on horseback, flanked by General Abdul Rashid Dostum (Navid Negahban), who spearheads a local Afghan alliance determined to defeat the Taliban.

The US soldiers face overwhelming odds in unfamiliar terrain as they deliver on the promise to dole out justice.

Three stars

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