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Thirteen Lives
   review by Bobby Blakey


Throughout his career director Ron Howard has delivered some powerful great movies including Apollo 13, Night Shift, Splash, The Da Vinci Code, and his foray into the galaxy far, far away with Solo: A Star Wars Story. His latest film, Thirteen Lives starring Viggo Mortensen, Colin Farrell, Joel Edgerton, Tom Bateman, Paul Gleeson, Pattrakorn Tungsupakul, Tui Thiraphat Sajakul, James Teeradon Supapunpinyo, Sahajak Boonthanakit, and Weir Sukollawat Kanaros. Does this film to the story justice or will it get swept away in the current?

Thirteen Lives follows the incredible true story of the tremendous global effort to rescue a Thai soccer team who become trapped in the Tham Luang cave during an unexpected rainstorm. Faced with insurmountable odds, a team of the world’s most skilled and experienced divers – uniquely able to navigate the maze of flooded, narrow cave tunnels – join with Thai forces and more than 10,000 volunteers to attempt a harrowing rescue of the twelve boys and their coach. With impossibly high stakes and the entire world watching, the group embarks on their most challenging dive yet, showcasing the limitlessness of the human spirit in the process.


It’s always a tricky thing to make a film about real life events that you already know the outcome. For it to work you have to take the information and do something fresh with it as well as make it as compelling as possible. This film tackles the obvious side of the soccer team being trapped, but instead of spending a lot of time on those trapped inside that films like this usually do and instead just on those trying to rescue them. This not only makes more sense for the story, but also brings the interest into everything they did trying to figure it all out.


There is just enough set up to lead up to the team getting trapped in the caves before shifting into the focus on the rescue which leads the film. To my surprise it isn’t as intense as I had expected, but still very compelling.

The visuals really give take you along for the rescue itself with tons of underwater stuff and claustrophobic moments that are sure to stress some viewers out. This is no doubt the true feelings of the divers and people going through this ordeal and is really the only way they could have done this story justice.


The cast are all great across the board and while Farrell and Mortensen clearly lead the charge, I was so happy with the amount of Thai actors and put front and center since they were so important to the story itself and not just those trapped in the caves. A big majority of the film is actually in Thai and subtitled as it should be, but sadly more often than not Hollywood feels the need to make everything in English.


Ron Howard has once again delivered a compelling true life story that is crazy to watch. Hearing how they did the rescue is one thing, but seeing how they went about it to pull it off is something else all-together. It’s insane how they had to transport them out, but even more so just the amount of time it took to do so in both days of the venture and the amount of time the dives themselves took.

This is a film that should be seen if for no other reason to see the true work of heroes and the insane lengths they had to go to do the impossible. Check out Thirteen Lives streaming now on Prime Video.   

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