The Heroic Movie Hollywood Should Make ... But Won't
While Hollywood is busy fawning over the pompous president who takes credit for killing Osama bin Laden, they're completely overlooking a story that has all the makings of a film classic.
On November 4, "SEAL Team 6" will air on National Geographic. Sources suggest President Barack Obama will play a prominent role in the film, as the hero who brought bin Laden to justice. Meanwhile "Zero Dark Thirty" will open in December, and knowing that the President gave its producers access to classified information, you know he expects to be honored in this film as well.
I picture Obama with the writers in the Oval Office, demonstrating how he took that heroic phone call: "Well I uuhhh... was sitting right uh here with my feet on the desk when the Red Phone rang. I put down the uh..., important Presidential papers I was working on, and took the call. They uh.., said we have Bin Laden in our sights, and without hesitation, uh… I said: ‘Take the Shot!’”
"Seal Team 6" producer Harvey Weinstein has been hanging out with Michael Moore for so long, I wonder if he knows what a hero looks like (hint: if they need two airline seats it’s because there are two of them.).
If this account is accurate, it has all the makings of an action picture like the ones we used to enjoy, movies about honest to god superheroes who don't wear tights or use magic to take out the bad guys. This is the real thing, the kind of stuff legends are made of.
It reads like a Hollywood movie: Two men, ignored repeated orders to stand down. That’s a classic phrase that happens right before all the good stuff starts. We’ve seen it from "Dirty Harry" to "Die Hard." When a upstart gets too close, and his superiors decide that the operation would go better without him they ask him to hand in his weapon. This is the point where the audience realizes that sometimes there are things more important than the institution, and the hero must go over someone’s head for justice to be served.
These two guys then run into a burning compound completely UNARMED, rushing into danger unknown with only their training instincts. It’s like Jack Bauer and John McClane in a buddy picture. Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty ran into the siege without any weapons or plan or concern for their own safety. All they have is the confidence that they’ll be able to improvise. They manage to acquire a few weapons on the way in.
There were up to 200 militants. They were outnumbered 100 to one. And yet, they managed to kill 60 bad guys. That’s more bad guys than Rambo killed in his first two movies. And they gave 20 administrative personnel in the embassy the chance to escape.
Meanwhile, I picture the President in leopard print blinders trying to get some sleep at 3 a.m. because he has a busy campaign schedule in Vegas. The phone is ringing off the hook. The VP is in the projection room, watching the drone feed with a bucket of popcorn, thinking about cue balls.
Unfortunately for the sequel, these two men were left stranded on the roof of the compound, awaiting a rescue that never came. I think that can be fixed in the rewrite.
Life doesn’t always get the Hollywood endings.