From acclaimed director Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Hannibal) and renowned producer Jerry Bruckheimer (Pearl Harbor, Armageddon) comes a gripping true story about bravery, camaradarie and the complex reality of war. Black Hawk Down stars an exceptional cast including Josh Hartnett (Pearl Harbor), Ewan McGregor (Moulin Rouge!), Tom Sizemore (Saving Private Ryan), Eric Bana (Chopper), William Fichtner (The Perfect Storm), Ewen Bremner (Snatch) and Sam Shepard (All The Pretty Horses). In 1993, an elite group of American Rangers and Delta Force soldiers are sent to Somalia on a critical mission to capture a violent warlord whose corrupt regime has lead to the starvation of hundreds of thousands of Somalis. When the mission goes terribly wrong, the men find themselves outnumbered and literally fighting for their lives.
Tears of the Sun
While it offers nothing new to the military action genre, Tears of the Sun distinguishes itself with fine acting, expert craftsmanship, and seriousness of purpose. Its familiar "extraction mission" plot is essentially similar to that of Black Hawk Down, involving a crack team of U.S. Special Ops commandos struggling to rescue innocent missionaries amidst the bloody horror of Nigerian ethnic cleansing. With Bruce Willis as their grizzled, no-nonsense commander, the skillful team enters a hot zone that gets even hotter when their "package"--an American national (Monica Bellucci) who runs the isolated mission--demands that 70 Nigerian villagers be included in the rescue. Willis's uneasy conscience leads him to defy orders and expand his mission, and in an ambitious follow up to Training Day, director Antoine Fuqua escalates tension and strike-force with considerable emotional impact. Originally considered as a potential entry in Willis's Die Hard series, and released on the eve of America's war with Iraq, Tears of the Sun admirably avoids jingoism with its rousing story of personal good vs. political evil. --Jeff Shannon
Black Hawk Down
Beginning with a quote from T.S. Elliott--"All our ignorance brings us closer to death"--the hope that Black Hawk Down will offer an intelligent war film to a world after September 11, 2001 is high. Based on a true story which led to a best-selling book, the film focuses on the 1993 American mission to Somalia which went terribly wrong. To a certain extent it succeeds with its opening promise, but all too quickly falls under the spell of American national pride--possibly the reason why the film was brought forward from its original release date. One might hope that with a British director, Ridley Scott, and a high percentage of British and Australian actors on board, Black Hawk Down would present an outsider's view on the American politics of war, but produced by the team who brought us Pearl Harbour the end result is a traditional American-Heroic war movie, relying more on special effects, gore and gun battles than character, emotion and politics.
In its favour, Black Hawk Down does make an attempt to represent the views of the Somalian people. In one of its strongest scenes, a high-powered Somalian gun seller states; "This is our war not yours", but by the end of the film it's clear that this is merely a token gesture towards a non-Western perspective on the conflict. Many American soldiers lost their lives during this battle, and this movie is a fine tribute to these amazing men in one of the first big-budget films to expose modern warfare. As far as top billing goes, Josh Hartnett and Ewan McGregor hold no greater role than the rest of the cast. The standout performance comes from Ewen Bremner, who offers an unexpectedly comic turn against the bleak backdrop; but otherwise the limited character development highlights one of the film's main issues--that although these men are fighting for their country, when on the battlefield they stand together and no man is more important than any other (unless you're on the wrong side!). --Nikki Disney
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.