Thirteen Lives 2022 Movie Scene Viggo Mortensen as Rick Stanton and Colin Farrell as John Volanthen in their wetsuits inside the cave about to go underwater

Thirteen Lives [2022]

Before watching Thirteen Lives, a movie following a crazy rescue operation with an even crazier ending, you have a choice to make. It’s a difficult choice and I will do my best to help you make it. So, should you watch The Rescue, a 2021 documentary detailing this rescue operation in Thailand before watching this movie? I think you should. I watched it last New Year’s Eve and haven’t regretted it despite being completely traumatized by it. Plus, there’s now a Netflix miniseries Thai Cave Rescue that’s also quite good. Although I recommend you circle back to it after you’ve seen first the documentary and then this movie.

If you’re wondering what kind of movie Thirteen Lives is, I’ll just say that it stars Viggo Mortensen and Colin Farrell. The two of them were absolutely fantastic here along with Joel Edgerton. Just pay attention to the scene when Colin Farrell is preparing to enter the cave and one of the parents stops him. Revel in the subtlety of his body language, the weight on his shoulders, and his general demeanor. It’s pure cinema gold. And Viggo, hell man, I don’t want to talk about Viggo, he was that good. He was the definition of that tough man focused on doing the tough work. Fully knowing the risks and possible negative outcomes.

The story of the Tham Luang cave rescue is one of the most incredible rescue stories I have ever heard. It’s surreal and at every moment you’re trying to comprehend not just the severity of the situation but just how fucked up it was for everyone involved. Thirteen Lives does an excellent job of conveying that and showing us what really happened. Remember, these are tight spaces notoriously difficult for filming. And I’m certain that the shoot was exhausting for everyone. Colin, for example, suffered frequent panic attacks while underwater.

It is summer in Thailand and the junior football team “Wild Boars” and their assistant coach are enjoying a nice game of football. They decide to relax a little bit by exploring the Tham Luang cave. These caves are not dangerous and fairly easy to get out of. However, it soon starts to rain heavily with all the water from the mountain pooling in the cave. This is the moment when their parents start alerting the authorities and asking for something to be done…

As it kept going, I thought that the movie is a 9 out of 10 but then they skipped one highly publicized detail and the score shot up to 10 out of fucking 10. See if you can spot it because I won’t mention it. I also want to add that because of its release so close to Christmas and New Year celebrations, Thirteen Lives just slipped through the cracks. It quickly became one of the most underrated movies of the past year. And I guess people don’t like cave movies. They can be claustrophobic as fuck. If, however, you’re looking for more cave movies check out The Descent, Sanctum, La Cueva and The Cave.

If you’re wondering just how close Thirteen Lives was to the real rescue attempt, Rick Stanton said that they’ve changed only one thing. In reality, the visibility was almost zero so they had to make the water muddy for us, the viewers to see something. Finally, you should know that the running time is almost two and a half hours so just be ready for that. You should also know that there’s not a second of this movie that’s boring or dull.

Director: Ron Howard

Writers: William Nicholson, Don MacPherson

Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Colin Farrell, Joel Edgerton, Tom Bateman, Paul Gleeson, Teeradon Supapunpinyo

Fun Facts: Viggo Mortensen suggested to director Ron Howard that they should do scene where the divers leave the kids in the dark and they have to grapple with that fact. The scene turned out to be one of the more powerful ones in the entire movie.


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