This cultural faith, which has so little to offer in the face of death, might in itself offer some insight if we follow it to its ultimate futility. But that doesn’t seem to be director Rod Lurie’s purpose. Every time he nears the cusp of mining something more profound from these real events, he shifts to some other scene or interaction.
Eventually a moment comes that stirs viewers’ hearts with empathy and gratitude. It’s as the credits roll: Tapper sits down with the men who came back from Combat Outpost Keating to tell us about the fallen. As we see the faces of those who didn’t make it home to friends and family, we finally see they were not mere types—their experiences weren’t trite.
Sgt. Christopher Griffin was real. So was Pfc. Kevin Thomson. As their brothers’ jaws tremble, trying to restrain tears while remembering them, we remember these men we’ve never met too.
“I read somewhere in the Bible, the gates of heaven and the gates of hell are in the same spot,” says one of the heroes who survived. “So at the time of the firefight, it was the gates of hell. But watching men sacrifice themselves to protect each other, you could see the true form of what brotherhood and love is. So it became the gates of heaven as well.”