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New DVD shadows, but falls short of, blockbuster 'Zero Dark Thirty'

"SEAL Team Six: The Raid on Osama bin Laden" was released on DVD last week.
BY DENNIS KING For The Oklahoman Modified: January 14, 2013 at 5:02 pm •  Published: January 15, 2013

The oddest DVD to appear on recent release lists is “SEAL Team Six: The Raid on Osama bin Laden.”

Big blockbuster movies often seem to spawn lesser knockoffs in their wake. Such is the case with the pithy post-9/11 thriller “Zero Dark Thirty,” which towers over a similar version of the same story told in “SEAL Team Six: The Raid on Osama bin Laden,” which came out on DVD last week.

Covering essentially the same ground as Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal's multilayered, journalist depiction of the decade-long manhunt for the infamous 9/11 architect, “SEAL Team Six” is instead a more literal and blander stab at the complex story. It was aired in late 2012 on the National Geographic Channel in an apparent effort to steal some of the thunder of Bigelow and Boal's film.

For the most part, it follows a similar timeline, depicting the long, arduous process of hunting down bin Laden, the ultimate location of a suspicious compound in the Pakistani suburb of Abbottabad and the internal intelligence debate over whether bin Laden was actually inside or not.

The film incorporates some actual news footage of President Barack Obama announcing the raid, which lends the thing an eerie docudrama feeling. But, naturally, the money moments come during the SEAL Team Six raid itself, which is handled with more typical action-movie bravado than the restrained, clinical depiction of “Zero Dark Thirty.”

“SEAL Team Six” offers little in the way of character development or startling revelations. All in all, it's a workmanlike effort that covers the ground adequately, but pales in comparison with the stirring, complex and morally ambiguous details of Bigelow's film.

“SEAL Team Six: The Raid on Osama bin Laden” is not rated and runs 90 minutes. It's being released by Anchor Bay.

Dennis King blogs at


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