Tuesday, 7 October 2014

SEAL Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden

Everyone knows that Osama Bin Laden was a very naughty man, so naughty in fact that this country called the "United States of America" spent over 10 years tearing up the middle east looking for him, along with help from some of their chums from Europe and Asia.
Eventually, the American types finally figured out that Mr. Bin Laden was hiding out in Pakistan, and not Iraq or Afghanistan (Oops!, all those people dead for nuthin), much to their chagrin being as the Pakistanis were supposed to be Americas chums. So, in order to set things right, they sent in some very angry soldier types to fetch Mr. Bin Laden to see the headmaster for a stern talking to!.

"SEAL Team Six : The Raid on Osama Bin Laden" is a 2012 TV Movie made by National Geographic which serves as both a documentary and a dramatisation of the events leading up to the raid on Osama Bin Ladens hiding place in downtown Abbottabad on a May night in 2011.

The operation, codenamed "Operation Neptune Spear", was carried out by two squads of US Navy SEALs, using two special "stealth" blackhawk helicopters (one of which crashed due to a mechanical error and had to be blown up before the SEALs ex filtrated the area in order to prevent its secrets being looted by some DIRTY FOREIGNERS!1!!!1) in a completely unauthorised incursion into Pakistani airspace.
The films plot shows that over the course of approximately 6 months, the CIA had received various bits of intelligence, both via direct "questioning" (*coughyeahrightcough*) of suspected Al-Qaeda terrorists and via remote observation of Bin Ladens known hangouts and associates.
During this time, the eventual members of SEAL team six are shown being recruited and trained, and at various points they speak to the camera as though giving an interview (This is artistic licence, being as the real identities of the special forces operatives involved in the raid are a closely guarded secret. In total 79 human and 1 canine operatives were involved in the operation).

The film watches like an eclectic mix of a spy movie coupled with an action movie, a bit like a sort of "James Bond lite" type affair, with documentary elements thrown in to fill in the gaps of things that are "Classified".
The quality of acting is pretty good considering that the only people in the film I've ever heard of are Xzibit and Eddie Kaye Thomas , and the film makers go to great lengths to ensure that as many technical details are correct as possible when showing military installations and equipment.
The SEAL team operatives themselves are all military stereotypes, theres a couple of gung-ho patriots, some introspective ones, ones with tragic backgrounds etc, this is to be expected form this kind of film though, especially so being as the real people who took part in the missions identities will probably never be known.

The film does embellish some details, for example, Bin Laden is shown to be carrying an AKSU assault rifle when the SEAL operatives encountered him, when in reality, bin Laden was unarmed at the time of his death although during the examination of the building that was carried out immediately after the operation had ended, both an AKSU rifle and a Makarov pistol were found in the room), the film also does not show that just before bin Ladens death, one of bin Ladens wives was shot as she tried to attack one of the soldiers (the scene instead shows the lead soldier pushing a woman out of the way, with the second soldier to enter the room killing bin Laden).

All in all though, this film is pretty good, much better in fact than Zero Dark Thirty , a film which was released in cinemas in December of 2012 which essentially tells the same story, although with it being a Hollywood film, it embellishes the story a lot and goes more for "general" appeal.

SEAL Team Six is available on DVD and via many streaming media outlets and is a pretty good film if you like military films that concentrate on story rather than pyrotechnic effects and dodgy character building scenes.

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