Linda Cook review: ‘The Outpost’ is a true-life spectacle of courage


It’s a war movie, a true story, and a vehicle for the second generation of Hollywood royalty.

Based on the book “The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor” by Jake Tapper (of CNN fame,) the story is set in 2009 during the Battle of Kamdesh. Hundreds of Taliban attacked U. S. Combat Outpost Keatig, in an Afghanistan valley.

One by one, we meet the soldiers – many of whom do not survive. Among them are Capt. Robert Yllescas (Milo Gibson, son of Mel Gibson) and Staff Sgt. Clint Romesha (Scott Eastwood, son of Clint Eastwood.) Other actors, incuding Orlando Bloom and Caleb Landry Jones, give great portrayals of soldiers, too. Also, you’ll see Richard Attenborough’s grandson Will.

For fans of older movies or television shows, it will be fun to see the younger Gibson and Eastwood. Both of them bear a strong resemlance to their fathers in various scenes, and their characters are similar to the ones their parents have portrayed. (Think of the elder Eastwood in his television years of “Rawhide,” and Mel Gibson in his uniform in “We Were Soldiers.”)

The movie originally was intended to be a big-screen spectacle, much like the latest Tom Hanks war adventure “Greyhound.” Still, it’s enjoyable on a home screen, although I imagine it would lose some of its impact on a laptop or cell-phone format.

The tension is heightened with every moment. I have not been in battle, but I’ve spoken with many soldiers who have. I think this beautifully depicts the uncertainty of combat and the moments before and after, too.

Although it’s never exploitative, the visuals don’t skimp on the blood involved in war.
It’s a true-life spectacle that focuses on courage.

3 1/2 out of 4 stars

Running time: Two hours and three minutes.

Rated: R for foul language, war violence and gore.

Streaming on Netflix and other platforms.

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