by Walter Chaw Peter Berg is a great action director. He does it with verve, a good sense of space (which is increasingly rare these days), and a sense of both weight and humour. He has excellent timing, as well as an understanding of what's meaningful visual information in there among the dross of motion and impact. Moreover, he seems obsessed with working through issues surrounding what it means to be a man--how too often, it means your social interactions are limited to violence, threats to your sexuality, and hazing rituals dangerous and bestial. I'm a huge fan of his debut feature, Very Bad Things; visually, I think it's wrong to underestimate how influential is his romantic rack-focus gimmick from Friday Night Lights. I love Berg's Hancock, the movie that Man of Steel aspired to be (and if we're talking secondary influences, Zack Snyder owes much of his cinematic vocabulary to Berg). I love The Rundown, and while Battleship is inarguably a misfire, it's also less of a misfire than it could have been. With Lone Survivor, based on the memoir of Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, the titular lone survivor of a botched four-man special forces mission in Afghanistan, Berg's examinations of the masculine take their logical turn from bachelor parties to football to superheroes to military action. And for long moments, Lone Survivor is fantastic.