Is 12 Strong good?No.What is it, exactly?The recently declassified true story of “Task Force Dagger;” a joint operation of US Army Green Beret Operational Detachment Alpha 595 and CIA paramilitary ops that aimed to destabilize The Taliban in the immediate wake of the September 11 attacks by integrating and providing air support to anti-Taliban militias loyal to the Northern Alliance. It was an operation whose details were largely classified until recently save for the innately cinematic detail that the rough terrain required much of the travel and combat to be conducted on horseback.So an Afghanistan War movie?Yes.So I imagine this must be kind of grim, considering that whole thing kind of ran way longer and more complicated than we planned, right?No, it’s an orgasmically patriotic “Vengeance For 9-11” U.S. military infomercial from Jerry Bruckheimer. And the overriding theme of which is that charging headlong into a ground war in Afghanistan without much in the way of a plan was a noble and really smart idea that will clearly work out SWELL for everyone in the long run.…did they make this in 2003 and only just remember to release it now?Apparently not, no.So apart from “Lone Survivor, but with horses this time,” what’s the plot?Chris Hemsworth has the lead as the trusted but field-inexperienced Green Beret Captain charged with leading his team into the fight and striking uneasy peace with the hardscrabble Northern Alliance fighters. The film aims for it’s “main arc” to be the supposedly complex relationship between Hemsworth’s character and Navid Negabahn as the commander of their Alliance counterparts. So two tough guys: one young, one old. They sort-of sharing command of a single operation trying to feel each other out and navigate the twisted web of priorities that have briefly put them on the same side against a common enemy though with different tactics and functions.How does that play out?Dramatically, it’s not a bad idea, but 12 Strong just isn’t the kind of movie to deal meaningfully in the shades of gray that would make this all meaningful beyond perfunctory lip-service.Who else is in it?As this is a Jerry Bruckheimer military movie you already know he’s bringing a whole crew of actors who you kinda wish were in more good things but are always reliably solid in these – including Michael Shannon, William Fichtner, Michael Pena, Trevante Rhodes, Rob Riggle and Said Taghmaoui.Is the action at least decent?If you’ve seen ANY of the other mediocre Afghan War movies released over the last (almost) two decades, you’ve seen this one too. Handsome Hollywood actors growing out scruffy beards, scrambling behind rocks, pretending to fire machine guns, airstrikes being called in, explosions going off, wives and families being pined for. It’s full of History 101 platitudes about Afghanistan as “The Graveyard of Empires” being glibly passed off as ominous intonations, they bond, they fight, they suffer setbacks, they win. Eventually, they get the designated main bad guy, someone shows up back at home unexpected and hugs their kid while a low guitar-riff creeps in on the soundtrack, some pre-credits block-text lets you know only the happy parts of what happened next.So overall you don’t recommend it?Look, I’m trying not to sound cynical because YES it’s a war movie, people got killed, I sure as hell remember where I was on 9-11… I get it. But the whole thing isn’t just on auto-pilot but on the same auto-pilot we’ve seen dozens of times now and it feels like it’s actively avoiding bringing something new to the table. The action is generic, the details of what made this particular operation noteworthy and/or special feel sanded-down and generic. The actors are all doing schtick you’ve seen them do better elsewhere and it’s honestly not even visceral or emotionally resonant enough to pull a genuine connection out of a wound as open as 9-11 OR villains as eminently hateable as The Taliban or Al Qaeda. It’s not smart enough to be of historical interest and it’s not even exciting enough to be good propaganda. Stay on target MovieBob Reviews: ‘Shadow’MovieBob Reviews: ‘The Curse of La Llorona’ Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.