Review |  Thirteen Lives – The Rescue

In its first few minutes, Thirteen Lives: The Rescue may sound boring, but from the second act onwards, Ron Howard delivers an immersive spectacle.

The film, which is available now on Prime Video, has the difficult task of adapting a recent real event without sounding dull or appealing, as it tells the drama story of the Thai football team that got trapped in the Tham Luang cave in 2018.

Playback/Prime Video

Its beginning is a little strange, it is true. Because, especially for those who followed the drama, something that is already known is seen, through a perspective that is already known, which is ours as an audience.

The plot even shows the children playing soccer, interacting with their families, and reaching the cave entrance. However, this is done in a way that only reproduces what was massively reported during the World Cup in Russia.

World Cup in Russia, which is very present in the film, which includes the narration of the final minutes of Brazil’s elimination to Belgium in the quarterfinals.

This was just one of the ways that Ron Howard found to place us in time, without having to keep repeating and not even announcing the date of the event.


In fact, all the sensorial work of the film, whether to locate the audience in time or in space, is well done. This even works to create the tense scenes, when without having to verbalize that the mission is falling apart, he delivers the message through the changes of climate and expressions of family members, rulers and divers.

Playback/Prime Video

Here is even praise for the decision to keep most of the dialogue in Thai, instead of promoting an “Americanization” of the film, as studios usually do.

Returning to the development of the plot, when the second arc arrives, we finally have the perspective change to one we don’t know, which is that of the British divers who found and rescued the 12 children and their trainer alive.

Then the thing starts to develop, and the audience is immersed inside that flooded cave, now having a real notion of how many things could go wrong in the mission, causing it to have a tragic ending for any poorly executed detail.

Playback/Prime Video

When it comes to immersion in 2022, it’s impossible not to remember what Top Gun: Maverick did to people. In his last two acts, Thirteen LivesThe rescue repeats this effect brilliantly, taking the breath away from the viewer, keeping the tension level so high that even with the original story being known, you fear for its ending.

a lot of it is caused, in addition to the excellent work of Ron Howardfor the brilliant performances of Colin Farrell, Viggo Mortensen, Joel Edgerton and Sahajak Boonthanakit, who lead their roles with mastery, to the point of convincing you that you are living it alongside them.

It turns out that the perspective of the boys and their coach was omitted at the beginning is justifiable, in order to create much of the tension of the film in the eyes of the divers and the leaders of Thailand. But unfortunately the first few minutes were tiring anyway.

Playback/Prime Video

Perhaps it was the case that some scenes were replaced so that the introduction was a little smaller, thus presenting the plot to those who know the story or not in a more dynamic way.

In the end, it is metaphorical how much Thirteen Lives – The Rescue it is an exercise in persistence, which goes beyond what its plot represents. Well, if you can resist your first 20 minutes, you’ll be rewarded with one of the most immersive and impressive movies of 2022.

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