Black Hawk Down (2001)

In the movie, a group of soldiers go to a Somolian city to intercept a civil feud going on between rebels and soldiers, but instead of a simple sweep, they are betrayed and ambushed by a huge onslaught of relentless Somolian soldiers who will stop at nothing to kill off the stranded US soldiers. This was one of the many crop of movies that came out briefly after the September eleventh tragedy, and this doesn’t fail with its gushes of patriotism. The movie is stock full of a powerhouse cast of young Hollywood hotshots like Ewan Mcgregor (Trainspotting, Moulin Rouge), Josh Hartnett (O, Halloween: H20), Orlando Bloom (The lord of the rings), and older veteran character actors like Tom Sizemore (Saving Private Ryan, Dreamcatcher), and Ron Eldard (ER, Sleepers). The movie is directed by famed director Ridley Scott (Alien, Gladiator) who gives great dramatic tension with incredible camera angles and action shots.

The movie is based on real events that happened back in the early nineties. The movie is also produced by the excellent Jerry Bruckheimer (The Rock, Con Air) who shows his obvious influence. The entire movie begins by introducing the long range of the interesting cast of characters which proves this movie isn’t an all shoot ’em up war movie. It’s very character driven with long moments of dialogue expressing each characters faults and personalities. The war scenes are very brutal and tense, some of which showing gun-toting kids and women shooting at the soldiers. Perhaps, the most disturbing images are that of when the Somolian soldiers overpower other soldiers and strip them naked, parading their shot up bodies around like trophies.

Each soldier has an intricate and important part in the movie letting you feel for them as they fight for their lives desperately. This is destined to be a true war classic that will grip you with it’s strong drama. The problem with the movie is that at times it’s too stylish and very unsentimental. The reason why “Saving Private Ryan” was so intense is because of its realism and documentary style directing. The movie at times also resembles an army recruitment commercial with some brief monologues talking about the army, blah, blah. At times it made me wonder it this was a movie or simple but subtle propaganda for the army. A sleek visual and incredible war action drama with good pacing and excellent character study.