Originally Posted by Dave Vaughn
What part of the plot do you think requires a suspension of belief other than the number of enemy fighters they were facing? In the movie they face 200, it real life the number was somewhere between 50 and 60, but according to military data taken from the scenes, these four men killed the majority of the bad guys during the battle and for even one of them surviving says a lot about their fortitude and training.
There were a few things that really asked me to suspend my disbelief. Of course in every film we're asked to do this, because there are always elements that intellectually we know cannot be believed. Most of us don't believe there are vampires, but we're willing to suspend that disbelief because it's a lot of fun to explore and engage the vampire mythology.
With a story like Lone Survivor, which is based on fact rather than fiction, there are times when we know things differently than the movie portrays, and we understand that the writer and/or director deliberately changes things to increase the emotion or impact of the story. Since I knew the story fairly well from a number of different accounts, I knew for example that he didn't "die" on the gurney and revive with a defibrillator. He also didn't have that reflective inner monologue, but it was a nicely staged dramatic device that only required that I temporarily ignore the fact that I know it didn't happen so I could enjoy it.
There are other small and not so small things. For example the ebb and flow of the enemy contact is like many other films where the bullets are flying fast and furious until the characters need a quiet moment for important dialog to be spoken, and I think, "It's nice of the attackers to be holding fire until these guys are done speaking."
We also know that the drama played out at Afghan village never happened, and the plot literally flies off the rails if you're picking nits. There was no attack on the village, no swirling just-in-time arrival of choppers to blast the attackers into oblivion, no dramatic we've got to leave now moment, etc. Again, I loved the movie but there were times when I had to subdue the facts because the plot had gone into uncharted territory.
I was glad to see "Based on a true story" rather than "This is a true story." That's all I needed to see to know there'd be plenty of artistic license and that I could watch it as an entertainment and homage, but not as history.