Lone Survivor review

Based on real events involving an ill-fated Navy Seal mission to kill a Taliban commander in Afghanistan, Peter Berg's latest film presumably set out to tell a powerful and moving story about sacrifice and loyalty to your fellow soldiers. Unfortunately, between its mix of heavy-handed, flag-waving jingoism and action movie dynamics, it ends up feeling like nothing more than another testosterone-fuelled Hollywood actioner.

For all of its posturing about being a serious attempt at recreating real events, Lone Survivor's true selling point is the fact that the entire second act is basically one (admittedly spectacular) extended gunfight, pitting the four fleeing Navy Seals against hundreds of Taliban soldiers. This is no bad thing per se, but for all of the effort put in to establishing the four protagonists as 'real' human beings (with home lives and feelings), when the bullets start flying they're capable of taking just as much punishment as the likes of Stallone and Schwarzenegger did in their most outlandish roles. Realistic? Hardly.

Picture: Shot using Red Epic cameras, Lone Survivor's digital photography looks magnificent on Blu-ray. The 2.40:1-framed image boasts crisp edges and sumptuous detail, offering the sort of effortless clarity that gives its resolutely 2D visuals a palpable sense of depth and texture.

Blacks are absolutely rock-solid and colour reproduction is equally striking, being just as happy handling the vibrant red splashes of blood as it is with the subtle differences in the various flesh tones. By any measure it's a cracking transfer.
Picture rating: 5/5

Audio: The disc's DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack is a match for the peerless hi-def visuals. While the dialogue is as natural as you could hope for and the ambient effects succeed in giving a sense of space that extends beyond what you can see, it truly comes in to its own when the action kicks off.

Chapters 10 to 14 subject you to some of the most effective and convincing positional effects we've ever encountered, throwing you right into the heart of the gunfight with bullets zipping perilously close to your seat. There's no shortage of bass either, be it the dull thud of a bullet ripping into a body or the explosions that regularly boom out of the mix.
Audio rating: 5/5

Extras: This hi-def platter offers up a modest collection of featurettes about the making of the movie and the events that inspired it. Among the latter are short videos about the US troops who died in the operation and a piece about the 'Pashtun code of life' that helped save one Navy Seal. Worth a watch.
Extras rating: 2.5/5

We say: This rather schizophrenic action epic definitely delivers the goods when it comes to AV quality 

Lone Survivor, Universal Pictures, All-region BD, £25 Approx