Neither is SEAL Team Six by any means, but it is a clear and unabashed tribute to America's strength and ultimate, if aspirationally inevitable, victory. Such an outright celebration of U.S. military success as it relates to the 9/11 attacks has been scant. Rather, the war films of the 21st century, like Hurt Locker and Green Zone, and television shows like Homeland cast a far more blurry view on heroes and villains in the war on terror.
Though the killing of Osama bin Laden does not lessen the pain of the thousands of lives he took, and the many more since lost in pursuit of al Qaeda. It lets the heroes be heroes again. SEAL Team Six adds a little depth and color to the anonymous figures who become its characters, but not much. And the film lets its viewers feel unambiguously good about their country again. After the success of the mission, Vivian, SEAL Team Six's star CIA agent, tells her faux- documentarians, "There aren't many moments in life when you get to realize that everything you sacrificed for a goal was worth it." SEAL Team Six, and in meta-sense, the bin Laden raid, allows its war-weary audience to walk away with that confidence.
Next in line is Zero Dark Thirty, directed and produced by Hurt Locker's Kathryn Bigelow. Time will tell whether it follows along in the parade.
SEAL Team Six: The Raid on bin Laden premieres Sunday, November 4 at 8 p.m. on National Geographic Channel.