A bit slow to start and overlong at more than 2 hours, Warhorse One eventually won me over with its gorgeous scenery, excellent cinematography, and old fashioned one-against-many theme that is as basic and simplistic as action movies go, but it’s done well and Strong’s performance is good enough to give the film a strong anchor.
A rescue mission in Afghanistan goes bad, but one soldier forges through, doing his best to keep a little girl alive.
After the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021, American forces send a team to rescue an American family, but the helicopter is shot down, and only one soldier survives the attack: A SEAL named Mirko (Johnny Strong who also co-directed). Immediately, the Afghans peg him for death, and since he’s behind enemy lines, he is constantly on the run through the wilderness from incoming insurgents. Through mountainous terrain, a raging river, and caverns, Mirko continues to survive, and when he finally gets to the family he’s supposed to rescue, he finds them all killed … except a little girl named Zoe (Athena Durner, who’s adorable) who watched her whole family get murdered. He takes Zoe with him to a proposed rendezvous point somewhere way in the distance, and with a huge onslaught of Afghans on his trail, the odds are stacked against them, but Mirko’s determination and will to survive is evergreen.
A bit slow to start and overlong at more than 2 hours, Warhorse One eventually won me over with its gorgeous scenery, excellent cinematography, and old fashioned one-against-many theme that is as basic and simplistic as action movies go, but it’s done well and Strong’s performance is good enough to give the film a strong anchor. He kills a lot of guys in this movie, and he shoots I don’t know how many rounds (a lot!), but I did appreciate its depiction of heroism and valor, which is surprisingly sparse these days in movies, particularly when it comes to war pictures. The movie is very one-sided in how it depicts the Afghans as evil, vile troglodytes, which is fine as far as how the movie wants us to see them, and I found that a little surprising for today’s jittery ultra woke market, and so I consider this a throwback to the days when Rambo and Braddock would mow down legions of bad guys of ethnic origin. The score is in the style of Lisa Gerrard / Hans Zimmer with a startlingly similar theme that Gladiator had, and there’s even a wheat field montage for good measure. If you like your war movies in the ’80s vein, look no further than Warhorse One. William Kaufman co-directed.
Well Go USA recently released a Blu-ray and a DVD of Warhorse One, and it comes with a commentary, a featurette, and the trailer. This one’s a keeper.