Rescue Below the Surface: Thirteen Lives Review
Even though Thirteen Lives is based on a true story, this movie was one of the more enjoyable ones. From the cinematography, to the suspense, to even the atmosphere, Thirteen Lives is an enjoyable experience that takes the viewer right into the event.
Should You Watch Thirteen Lives?
Now, whether this movie is worth a watch or not, I would definitely say yes. Long time readers will know that we’ve covered other movies based on a true story, like Penguin Bloom. Now, that movie wasn’t as entertaining, but I can assure you that Thirteen Lives isn’t slow or boring like that one. On the contrary, the story is quite intriguing, and the two-and-a-half-hour runtime passes by pretty quickly.
If you’re wondering what this movie did that made it so enjoyable, then read on. I’ll cover some of the general aspects of the movie, but I will also remain spoiler free. Since this film is based on a true story, you could probably Google the whole situation, but I’ll deliver my thoughts as if you haven’t heard or know of the situation. Now, without further ado, let’s get started.
As I mentioned earlier in this review, I really enjoyed this movie. When I first saw the length of it, I was a bit skeptical, as a two-and-a-half-hour movie is a lot to sit through, especially one that is based on a true story. We don’t have the greatest track record with movies based on true events here at Prairie Grown Reviews, but I think what made this movie better was the story it was based on. I faintly remember hearing about this event a few years ago, and as such, this helped make the movie more interesting. Since I didn’t know exactly what happened, this film was a great stepping-stone to experience what happened during that fateful half a month. Even though there’s a chance that some events in the movie were exaggerated, I think this was a great way to bring back awareness to what happened.
Now, how exactly is this movie that is based on a true story actually good? Let’s explore a few specific parts of the movie that I enjoyed.
What Happens in Thirteen Lives?
So, what exactly happened in that summer of 2018? In Thailand, a group of 13 boys and their soccer, or football, coach were prepared to celebrate a birthday. Before the event, the boys wished to visit a local cave. At this point, one of the boys had to help his father before the birthday party and stayed back. As such, 12 boys and their coach went into the caves. While underneath, the rainy season hit earlier than expected, which caused the caves to flood. As such, the local authorities tried to save the 13 trapped in the depths of the earth. However, this soon proved futile, and more backup was requested and acknowledged by various countries.
At this point, the movie shifts to John Volanthen and Richard Stanton, two men who are experienced in cave recues. After volunteering their aid, the two map out a path to the boys and their coach, while also trying to come up with a plan to save them.
When it comes to plot, I feel like there’s not much I can say terribly about it. Since this film is based on a true story, the main arc is just like that in real life, however, there are some creative liberties. As such, I thought the story of Thirteen Lives was a fun journey. I think what really helped in this regard was how suspenseful this movie was. Even though the ending was obvious through a bit of research, I enjoyed myself watching how our leads solved the problem. I think what also helped the story was the pacing of the movie. There was a nice balance between the suspense and the down times, which made it feel like I was experiencing this disaster first-hand. I was hooked essentially. So, when it comes down to pure plot, it was a wild ride indeed.
Who’s in Thirteen Lives?
If I have one complaint about the movie was that there were a lot of characters. Besides the 13 in the cave and our main duo, lots of side characters appeared with very crucial help. Now, I’m not trying to downplay the real-world equivalents, but to me, it felt cluttered and overwhelming. So many names were dropped, and I had a hard time keeping up. As this movie is based on the true story, the characters also don’t have that much development. But since this movie is more based around the rescue, I didn’t mind the lack of development as much.
Overall, Thirteen Lives was a fun movie to watch. As a movie based on true events, its story was engaging and suspenseful. Give this a watch for sure.