'Murph: The Protector' is a well-made documentary covering the life and career of U.S. Navy SEAL Michael Murphy. You might recognize that name, because actor Taylor Kitsch recently portrayed him in Peter Berg's film 'Lone Survivor', which you can read about here. Michael Murphy did not survive one of his missions and was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2005, while trying to save his fellow SEAL'S lives by getting a clear signal to call for backup.
The operation was called Operation Red Wings, and it was not successful, but this is not about the mission as much as it's about the life of one brave man, who was loved by his family, friends, and SEAL team. What makes Murphy so special is that after his death, he was awarded the Medal of Honor, the Silver Star, and the Purple Heart.
This has not happened to a fallen SEAL since Vietnam. His bravery and courage in trying to save all of his comrades is truly remarkable, and showed that he was truly willing to sacrifice his own life to save others. This short 76-minute documentary features some images of Murphy and his friends with tons of interviews from friends and family.
They discuss what he was like as a kid and how they knew early on that he had the mind and soul of a Navy SEAL. It shows some of his time at Penn State, and discusses that he was badly injured during SEAL training, but that didn't stop him from recovering and becoming one of the best Navy SEALS to ever walk the Earth.
This a low-budget documentary that is very straight-forward, with no flashy camera-work, big name music, or fancy effects. Instead, we get a look at one man who has become a legend of sorts, full of honor, bravery, and kindness. If you want to learn about one of the most courageous men, then I suggest you take a look at this documentary, then watch 'Lone Survivor'.
'Murph: The Protector' comes with a 1080p HD transfer presented in 1.78:1 aspect ratio. This is a rough looking documentary, as there wasn't a whole lot of good equipment used for the making of this. Detail is fairly sharp during the talking head interviews, but in other clips or images, it tends to go soft.
The colors seem a little over-saturated, making some of the skin tones in the interviews look more orange than normal. There is some banding and aliasing in several scenes with a glossy digital look to the picture. It's not very pretty, but that's not the point here. The story is where the focus is.
This release comes with a Dolby Digital 2.0 audio mix and won't thrill you by any means. This is by all means a dialogue driven documentary, consisting mostly of interviews. The dialogue is always pretty clear and easy to understand.
There isn't anything really as far as ambient noises of sound effects, with the exception of a couple of gunshots to mark an impact or recreate a mission. But nothing sounds very loud, nor does it fully immerse you into what you are watching. That being said, it does the job well enough to keep you interested in the documentary.
There are no extras.
While I recommend this release, you probably won't want to pay full price for a decent documentary with less than average audio and video presentations, and no extras. 'Murph: The Protector' is a great story about one of the bravest men who ever lived, and this is a straight-forward documentary that should satisfy your curiosity about the man. Give it a rent.