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Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Colin Farrell, Joel Edgerton, Tom Bateman, Paul Gleeson, Sahajak Boonthanakit, Teeradon Supapunpinyo, Thira Chutikul, Pattrakorn Tungsupakul, Lewis Fitz-Gerald
OUR RATING: ★★★½
Amazon Prime bio-drama directed by Ron Howard. Based on a true story, Thirteen Lives (2022) follows a rescue mission that is assembled in Thailand where twelve boys and the coach of a Thai soccer team are trapped in a system of underground caves that are flooding. Entombed behind a maze of flooded cave tunnels, they face impossible odds. A team of world-class divers navigate through miles of dangerous cave networks to discover that finding the boys is only the beginning.
Our Favorite Quotes:'I know that you all did this for one reason. The love for the boys.' - Governor Narongsak (Thirteen Lives) Click To Tweet
Vern Unsworth: [after the boys have gone missing in the cave] I’ve mapped it. All of it. Now, I haven’t been in when it’s flooded. It’s a whole another game. You have to be a bit nuts. But, look, there’s some pretty tight corners in there. A real squeeze. But there are some big chambers too.
Governor Narongsak: [in Thai] It’s a deep cave, several kilometers long, with some narrow passages. If the boys have gone a long way in, it could take several more hours. But I have every confidence in the Navy SEALs.
Governor Narongsak: [in Thai] So far the divers have been unable to get through as the water is so high. The flooded sections are very narrow and difficult to navigate. The current is very strong.
General Anupong: [in Thai] You haven’t found the boys? And you don’t know where they are? Or even if they’re alive?
Thanet Natisri: [in Thai] There’s no time to wait for help from the officials. The rain water is flooding into the cave. It’s coming from above, not below. We have to stop it getting in.
John Volanthen: [over phone] Hey, Rick, you following what’s happening in Thailand? Some kids stuck in a cave.
Rick Stanton: Yeah. No, not really. Why? How did they get themselves in there?
John Volanthen: I don’t know. Doesn’t say.
Rick Stanton: Well, if they walked in, they can walk out.
John Volanthen: The Thai government’s been given a list of rescue divers. We’re on the list.
Rick Stanton: [over phone] It’s just a tourist cave.
John Volanthen: It looks easy, but Vern said when it’s flooded, it’s impossible.
Rick Stanton: Impossible for Vern.
John Volanthen: [over phone] Rick, look, if you don’t want to do it, I’ll just call Jason.
Rick Stanton: Just call Jason if you’d rather go with Jason.
John Volanthen: I didn’t say I’d rather go with Jason. I would rather go with you.
John Volanthen: [over phone] Maybe start packing if you think you’re coming.
Rick Stanton: I don’t even like kids.
'It takes a certain kind of mindset for the deep cave diving.' Rick Stanton (Thirteen Lives) Click To Tweet
John Volanthen: [referring to the cookies] Did you take two custard creams?
Rick Stanton: No.
John Volanthen: Yes, you did. You took two at once. You’re like a child.
Rick Stanton: I’m like a child?
John Volanthen: Seriously, I mean, I don’t care about the custard creams. But it’s like I tell my son, I care about trust. And I’m disappointed, Rick. But that’s okay, that’s okay.
Commander Kiet: [in Thai, referring to John and Rick] Sir, look at them. They’re amateurs. They’ll never survive the currents in the cave.
Vern Unsworth: No, no, no. They’ve done cave rescues all over the world.
John Volanthen: Our names must be on some list somewhere.
Vern Unsworth: Look, lads, it’s just that they don’t want foreigners dying in the cave. It’s not a good look.
John Volanthen: We won’t die. I have zero interest in dying. How about you, John?
Rick Stanton: Yeah, same.
Rick Stanton: [after they’ve dived into the cave] That was exciting. Not in a good way.
John Volanthen: [after they’ve been ordered not to dive in the cave] What was all that about?
Vern Unsworth: Well, in theory, the governor’s in charge, but Captain Arnont’s the Navy chief on the ground, and he doesn’t take orders from civilians. Plus, the rumor is, the governor’s been sacked. This was supposed to have been his last week here, and now he’s been ordered to stay on. Just in case they need a fall guy.
Vern Unsworth: That’s a shrine to Princess Nang Non, the Sleeping Princess.
Police Captain Bas: This is her mountain. Nang Non mountain.
Vern Unsworth: They say when you see it from a distance, it looks like a sleeping princess.
Police Captain Bas: They say that her tears trapped the boys. The Sleeping Princess is angry.
Rick Stanton: Angry? What’s she angry about?
Police Captain Bas: I don’t know. It’s just what the local people say.
Somboon: [in Thai, to Arnont] Sir, my boy is in the cave, and now it’s flooding. I don’t know if my son is alive or dead. All I ask from you, sir, is to bring me his body.
Governor Narongsak: With the high water level, and the low visibility, and the difficulty of the cave itself, our divers were not able to reach them. So, now, the question is, when do we go back in? And who is going in?
John Volanthen: Yeah. No offense, but you’re trained to dive in open water, not confined spaces. Rick and I have been diving in caves just like this for thirty years now.
Rick Stanton: It takes a certain kind of mindset for the deep cave diving. Breathing techniques, special ways of moving. It’s just different.
'Fear is created in our minds.' - Coach (Thirteen Lives) Click To Tweet
John Volanthen: [referring to the boys] Suppose they’re alive in there. What’s it like for them?
Rick Stanton: Why say that?
John Volanthen: I was just wondering.
Rick Stanton: [as they find the boys in the cave] They’re here.
John Volanthen: How many?
John Volanthen: How many of you?
John Volanthen: Thirteen?
Rick Stanton: They’re all alive.
John Volanthen: Thirteen?
John Volanthen: Brilliant!
Arm: Can we go out now?
John Volanthen: No, not today. No, there are just two of us. We must dive. But many people are coming. It’s okay. We are the first. But many will come. Many more.
John Volanthen: [to the boys] You’ve been here ten days. Ten days! You are very strong. Very strong.
'We do nothing, we'll be bringing them out dead for sure. But if they die while we're bringing them out, at least we will have tried.' - Rick Stanton (Thirteen Lives) Click To Tweet
John Volanthen: [to the boys] We’ll come tomorrow with food, and doctors, and everything.
Rick Stanton: Don’t, John. You don’t know that.
John Volanthen: You are very brave. How have you stayed so strong?
Arm: We are team, and we help each other. And our coach help us.
Arm: It is because of our coach we stay strong. He teach us to meditate. And we pray.
John Volanthen: You pray?
Arm: Yes. Yes.
John Volanthen: I bet you do.
Arm: We hear a sound in the cave. We are very scared.
John Volanthen: No need to be scared now. It’s just water. It’s just the cave.
Commander Kiet: [in Thai, referring to John and Rick] The old men found the boys!
News Reporter: Specialist cave rescue divers Rick Stanton, a retired firefighter, and John Volanthen, an IT consultant, have found the missing boys, and their football coach. Last seen nine days ago, and presumed trapped in the flooded caves, all twelve boys and their coach are now confirmed to be alive.
Captain Olivia Taft: The news guys can be a pain in the butt. You just got to handle them right.
Rick Stanton: What do you want me to tell them? “We found the boys. Now let’s all watch them die.”
John Volanthen: Okay, Rick. Take it easy.
Rick Stanton: I’m just telling it like it is. All this water pumping, flooding fields, praying to shrines, it’s bulls**t! I’m not having it.
'Do your best. And if we fail, the failure is mine alone.' - Governor Narongsak (Thirteen Lives) Click To Tweet
Rick Stanton: If you try and dive those kids the whole way, all you’d be bringing out is dead bodies!
Rick Stanton: This is exactly what I didn’t want.
John Volanthen: Well, you knew we’d find them.
Rick Stanton: I didn’t expect to find them alive.
John Volanthen: Well, it’s done now.
Coach: [in Thai] Fear is created in our minds.
Rick Stanton: [referring to caves] Then comes a tough dive. It’s a long, shallow tunnel, bit more twisty than this, three hundred and fifty meters. No visibility. Pulling against very strong currents.
John Volanthen: No headroom at all. And there’s undercuts on all the bends. They’re very, very dangerous.
Rick Stanton: So, you must always keep to the wider side of the line, or you’ll get trapped. At the end of that, you’ll reach the boys.
Captain Arnont: Those are our boys in there.
Rick Stanton: Look, I know your men are tough, but it’s not going to be easy for them.
Governor Narongsak: [in Thai] Now the Navy SEALs have reached the boys. They will support the boys, as we prepare for next stage of the rescue. I give my word to everyone, the boys will come out safely.
Governor Narongsak: [in Thai] I understand how you must feel.
Buahom: [in Thai] How can you understand? Is your son going to die?
John Volanthen: Somebody’s going to have to come up with something. Rick. What are you thinking?
Rick Stanton: Just a crazy idea.
John Volanthen: So tell me. Rick, crazy is better than nothing. We’ve got nothing.
Rick Stanton: We call Harry.
John Volanthen: Harry?
Rick Stanton: Doctor Harris.
John Volanthen: That’s brilliant.
Rick Stanton: Or insane.
John Volanthen: Or both.
Coach: [in Thai] It’s strange. The parents thanking me for taking care of their children. I thought they would blame me.
Jason Mallinson: Well, that’s quite a dive. How the hell do you think we’re going to get those kids out?
Rick Stanton: We’re working on it.
John Volanthen: The families, they’ve been here since day one.
Harry Harris: Oh, imagine what they’re going through.
Rick Stanton: You’ve got a skill none of the rest of us have, Harry.
Harry Harris: What’s that?
John Volanthen: Well, he’s talking about your area of expertise.
Harry Harris: I’m an anesthetist.
Rick Stanton: Right.
Harry Harris: No. No!
Rick Stanton: It’s their only chance.
Harry Harris: Rick, it’s insane. It’s unethical. It’s illegal, alright? And anyway, it just, it wouldn’t work.
John Volanthen: Well, you don’t know that. It’s never been done before.
Harry Harris: No. You’ll kill them.
Rick Stanton: They’re going to die anyway.
Harry Harris: I didn’t come here to kill kids, Rick. I came here to help you save them.
John Volanthen: [to Harry] I mean, we’re just desperate. It’s a bad idea.
Rick Stanton: It’s the only idea.
John Volanthen: Leave it, Rick. Harry’s the expert. If he says it can’t be done, then it can’t be done.
News Reporter: The recent death of Thai Navy SEAL Saman Gun an is reminding everyone of just how incredibly dangerous and challenging it is in the caves. This was a trained Navy diver. How much more difficult will it be for the twelve children and their coach?
News Reporter: The entire nation is anxiously waiting for what will happen next.
Harry Harris: If we had the right backup, maybe, just maybe one, or two, or three, if we’re lucky, of those kids might just make it through. But you’re talking about a five hour dive.
Harry Harris: The whole thing is insane. I don’t even know why I’m saying it.
Rick Stanton: Because a man has already died. And those kids don’t have much time left. Harry, we do nothing, we’ll be bringing them out dead for sure. But if they die while we’re bringing them out, at least we will have tried.
Governor Narongsak: Sedated? How sedated?
Harry Harris: Fully. Fully unconscious.
John Volanthen: It’s the only way we can dive them out.
Governor Narongsak: How safe is this procedure?
Harry Harris: I just can’t answer that. Because I’ve never done it before. As far as I know, nobody ever has.
Governor Narongsak: So, you are expecting casualties?
Harry Harris: Yes. I expect casualties.
Governor Narongsak: No one must know about the method you propose. Not even the parents. Do your best. And if we fail, the failure is mine alone.
John Volanthen: [referring to the good luck charm Buahom gave them] Here. For good luck.
Rick Stanton: I don’t believe in luck.
John Volanthen: Just take it.
Monk: [in Thai] I pray to the Guardian Spirit of the forest to apologize for the thirteen boys. If they have offended you, intentionally, or unintentionally, I apologize to all spirits in the forest. And spirits everywhere. Everyone at the ceremony would like to pray for the thirteen young boys to come back home safely.
John Volanthen: [to Kiet] Don’t let the boys watch. There’s no need to scare them with needles.
Harry Harris: [as he’s about to give the boy the injection] Come into my comfy office. Now, I’m Harry. And you’re a very brave boy. You’re number one. And you’re lucky, because you get Jason. He is the number one diver in all the world.
Jason Mallinson: He’s been breathing just fine.
Rick Stanton: F***ing brilliant.
Jason Mallinson: You didn’t think it would work? Me neither.
John Volanthen: It’s just my lad was called Arm. And, well, he stopped breathing for a minute. I thought he was… But he’s not. He’s okay. He’s okay.
Harry Harris: What happened?
Thai Medic: It was four out of four, Doctor.
Harry Harris: Four what?
Thai Medic: All the boys are fine.
News Reporter: We understand that a team of elite divers is attempting to guide the boys through a three kilometer underwater swim to safety.
Rick Stanton: [as he’s watching the news] “Swim to safety.” I like that.
Rick Stanton: Got any custard creams left?
John Volanthen: No.
Rick Stanton: What do you have?
John Volanthen: I ate them all.
Rick Stanton: Knob.
Rick Stanton: Yesterday, they said if we got one boy out alive, we’d be heroes. Now, we bring a single one out dead…
John Volanthen: Yeah.
Chris Jewell: Water level’s going to be rising in there.
John Volanthen: For sure.
Chris Jewell: We’ll still make it through though, right?
John Volanthen: Don’t know.
Jason Mallinson: We dive and we find out.
John Volanthen: It depends, Jason. Rick and I have been in there when it’s fully flooded. It’s a beast.
Jason Mallinson: We’re not stopping now.
Rick Stanton: You die in a cave if you want to, Jason. If I’m not sure of coming out, I’m not going in.
John Volanthen: Everyone leaves today. We do this as fast as we can.
Harry Harris: I guess it’s our turn now.
Commander Kiet: You go. We follow.
Rick Stanton: [to Chris] Your only duty is to that boy. We’ll get you out. So get ready.
Harry Harris: Well, I reckon you’ve done the hardest part. Why don’t I do the last bit? And that way I could say that I was a rescuer too.
Chris Jewell: I mean, Rick just said to do what’s best for the boy, so.
Harry Harris: I really think that that’s what’s best.
Jason Mallinson: We bloody did it, lads!
Governor Narongsak: You all have come from all over. From the nearby town. Others, from different countries around the world. You have given your time. Your expertise. Some, even the rice crops. And you ask for nothing in return. But I know that you all did this for one reason. The love for the boys.
Rick Stanton: Well, you did it, Harry.
Harry Harris: [as Harry walks off] He just got word his dad died.
Commander Kiet: [in Thai] That’s everyone, sir.
Captain Arnont: [in Thai] All but one.