Saturday, January 19, 2013

Jason watches ZERO DARK THIRTY

I think it's fair to say that everyone who sees this movie will go in with some knowledge and some opinions on the events depicted. Nobody is truly neutral about the war on terror. You might believe torture is never justified. You might believe torture can, in some instances, be justified if it saves more lives. Or you might believe "true" torture is never justified, but nothing we've done in the name of the War on Terror rises to the level of torture. For that matter, you can have opinions about whether the ultimately successful hunt for UBL was a good use of resources or whether the CIA could have better used its resources tracking more active terrorists and thwarted other terrorist attacks.

None of that matters to the film. It takes a very matter-of-fact approach to the decade-long manhunt and the one woman in the CIA who pushed for it the most. In fact, the actual raid on the compound is only the last ~25 minutes of the film (very close to the actual time of the raid, and definitely made to feel like real-time events.) The other two hours of the movie is the ten years of intelligence gathering (and a couple hundred days of politics) leading up to it. That's the real meat of the movie, contrary to how all the trailers depict it.

It's a very well done film, and a sobering inside-view of the War on Terror. Just realize when you hear people railing about how it defends/glorifies torture or how it's critical of those means and the intelligence community in general...well, whatever your opinions on that are what you brought into the movie to begin with.

Running Time: 157 minutes
My Total minutes: 310,912

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