In the wake of Sept. 11, Capt. Mitch Nelson leads a U.S. Special Forces team into Afghanistan for an extremely dangerous mission. Once there, the soldiers develop an uneasy partnership with the Northern Alliance to take down the Taliban and its al-Qaida allies. Outgunned and outnumbered, Nelson and his forces face overwhelming odds in a fight against a ruthless enemy that takes no prisoners.
Yet what could have been a flag-waving slog across the beautiful wilderness of Afghanistan (substituted here by New Mexico), interspersed with massive explosions, is instead surprisingly elegant for a blockbuster.
As Nicolai Fuglsig doesn't allow any complicated thoughts about war, colonization, and mortality to hover around his characters, 12 Strong inevitably proceeds as a jaunty imperial adventure through the wilds of northern Afghanistan.