Jul 252004

Black Hawk Down (2001)

123 elite U.S. soldiers drop into Somalia to capture two top lieutenants of a renegade warlord and find themselves in a desperate battle with a large force of heavily-armed Somalis.

Directed by
Ridley Scott

Action, Drama, History, War

Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Jason Isaacs, Tom Sizemore, William Fichtner, Eric Bana, Sam Shepard, Ewen Bremner, Tom Hardy, Ron Eldard, Charlie Hofheimer, Hugh Dancy, Tom Guiry, Brian Van Holt, Steven Ford


‘Black Hawk Down’ is a war film that simply looks at true events happened in Mogadishu, Somalia. It does not try to make war look exciting, it has no real heroes, it is even hard to see clearly who is who because it does not really matter. Director Ridley Scott shows that war is hell, a little like the way Steven Spielberg did that with his early scenes in ‘Saving Private Ryan’. To romanticize a thing like this, the way ‘Pearl Harbor’ handled things, would be stupid and Scott knows it.

His film tells about a mission on October 3, 1993, where close to everything goes wrong. The mission seems not that hard, about to take half an hour. Things start going wrong when a helicopter makes a sudden move to dodge a missile. New guy Blackburn (Orlando Bloom) falls from the helicopter and needs medical attention. This slows down the mission, making the US troops vulnerable. When a Black Hawk helicopter is shot down the real trouble begins. Since no man will be left behind the mission has to change into a rescue mission. Another Black Hawk goes down and hell breaks loose. The half hour mission becomes an entire day disaster with lots of casualties.

Scott directs this disaster in a terrific way. Although things are a mess, the film knows to keep our attention, showing what is necessary to understand what is happening. The cinematography is great. Scott uses the satellite images how they were really used and films the action in a raw way. Most of the time the camera is just registering. Hans Zimmer’s music sounds sometimes a little like his music from ‘Gladiator’ but fits the film and is original in its own way. ‘Black Hawk Down’ is one of the best made war films I have seen. Uncompromising, realistic, brutal.

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