Actionwar drama based on the best-selling book detailing a near-disastrous mission in Somalia on October 3, 1993. On this date nearly 100 U.S. Army Rangers, commanded by Capt. Mike Steele, were dropped by helicopter deep into the capital city of Mogadishu to capture two top lieutenants of a Somali warlord. This lead to a large and drawn-out firefight between the Rangers and hundreds of Somali gunmen, leading to the destruction of two U.S. Black Hawk helicopters. This film focuses on the heroic efforts of various Rangers to get to the downed black hawks, centering on Sgt. Eversmann, leading the Ranger unit Chalk Four to the first black hawk crash site, Warrant Officer Durant who was captured after being the only survivor of the second black hawk crash, as well as many others who were involved.
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The Enlightenment introduced a new version of honour, based on the ideaof war as a rule-bound, principled undertaking. This illusion wasshattered in World War I, when millions were mowed down on themechanised killing fields. It quickly became clear that national honourwas nothing more than a deceptive veneer over violent bloodshed. Assuch, Hollywood's first few war films were largely pacifist.Then came the so called Good War. In 1942 "Sergeant York" was released,a filmed biography of the Tennessee rifleman who by killing 23 Germansbecame the most decorated American soldier in history. The film recastWW1 as a reasonable national enterprise, not a deranged slaughterhouse."York" can be viewed as the first movie to foster public support forAmerica's entry into World War II by dramatising a new, democratisedideal of honour.While Democracy was seen to be right and good, war itself was believedto be morally wrong, its causes connected with the aggressivenessnatural to authoritarian regimes. Thus, over time, the idea took rootthat the only just war was a war in defence of democracy. This becamethe formula for almost all war movies made between 1942 and 1945. Underthe guidance of the Office of War Information, most of these featurefilms played up the skill and heroism of the ordinary GI, and playeddown the carnage of battle. This formula lasted into the post-war erabecause it was effective at promoting the democratic ideal of honour.Like its predecessors, this ideal posits a link between virtue andvictory. On the level of fact, it's well documented that "enemy"soldiers fought valiantly during World War II. But on the level ofmyth, it was important to show the "sons of democracy" fighting morevaliantly than the Other. In 1949 Hollywood released about eight warfilms that did just this.In the 1950s we had a few anti war films ("Pork Chop Hill", "Paths ofGlory" etc"), most of which challenged notions of "sacrifice","nobility" and even "free choice". Specious notions of "honor" nowcould no longer be rationalised. Henceforth soldiers no longer died forcountry, they died for their comrades. They acted out of loyalty andfear of dishonouring the unit. The 1960s and 1970s saw the elimination of virtually all film industrycontrols over violent content in movies. Along with the fall of theHays Office, this development made it possible to depict battle moregraphically than ever before. The technical challenge of rendering theultimate action sequence became an obsession.Yet the 1970s also saw a growing realisation that Vietnam veterans weretaking heat. So along with the challenge of making war look gorier camethe challenge of making vets look nobler. The two goals were reconciledby amplifying violence and reducing war to nothing larger than theethos of buddies helping buddies (ie- Bands of Brothers).This ethos now dominates almost all war movies, with rare exceptions.If American war films are wandering back into dangerous, propagandisticand gore-glorifying territory, it is not because they're getting goodat simulating the spectacle of combat. It's because, in an effort toavoid political controversy - apoliticism itself being a firm politicalstance which engenders only more violence - they offer underdevelopedplots and characters to serve an outdated and dysfunctional definitionof honour. Meanwhile "Black Hawk Down", one of Ridley Scott's dumbest film, iscontent to again rehash your typical fascist tale of victimised,out-gunned white men battling heroically, gloriously, against a savagehorde. A crypto-fascist remake of "Private Ryan" and "Zulu", Scottupdates the White Man's Burden, everyman grunts subjecting themselvesto toil in order to save the savage (in this case, Somalians) fromhimself. Unsurprisingly, Scott's Somalis speak only to condemnthemselves, displaying no emotions other than greed and the lust forblood. Their appearances are accompanied by sinister Arab techno, whilethe US forces are trailed by violins, oboes and vocals inspired byEnya. White troops display horrific wounds and clutch family photos,Somalis drop like flies, dispensable and unmourned.Of course the film is a mighty misrepresentation of what happened inSomalia. In 1992, George Bush senior announced that America had come todo "God's work" in Somalia. Unfortunately, in Pentagon speak, "God'sWork" means bombing nations to hell, Washington arming clan chiefs andwarlords in a deliberate attempt to destabilise the region. The US hasbeen doing this for a long time, backing the Somali dictator Siad Barrein 1978 and pitting him against Ethiopia, before arming Ethiopia andusing it as a proxy force against Somalia. Through the IMF, the USloaned over three million dollars to both sides, most of which went toarms and led to untold amounts of bloodshed. The West, of course, has ahistory of backing puppet dictators and then backing their dictator'senemies when these puppet's get too big for their boots (the latestcase of this was Iraq, the US arming Hussein against Iran and thensupporting Kuwait against Saddam before finally blitzing Saddamthemselves). With no conflicts to justify their presence in the area, the US thenseized upon the buzzwords "Somalian pirates" (the existence of piratesis directly caused by Western mega-corps dumping toxins and destroyinglocal fishery populations) and "war on terror" as an excuse tointensify their overt/covert actions in the region. Through thesebuzzwords, the US - while the UN unconscionably stands by - justifiedtheir support of yet more warlords, pitting them against thedemocratically elected Islamic Courts Union, an organisation which hasbrought some level of peace, unity, stability and some semblance ofnationhood to Somalia.But of course the West doesn't want this. 30 per cent of America's oilwill come from Africa over the next ten years. American hegemonydepends on Africa remaining unstable and run by puppets willing toprevent the nationalising of minerals, resources or crack down onlaw-dodging mega-corps.4/10 - Evil.
I just saw this movie last night, and thought it was an excellent movie. Iliked it for many reasons, but mostly I felt it was an accurate depiction,and especially in that they did not try to make any of the rangers or deltaforce guys out to be some supernatural hero, but instead displayed them asthey are more likely to be - human and vulnerable, and perhaps because ofthat, even more heroic.I also felt like posting because I just read the last review (by Sheasomeone - forget now) and had some comments about that. The first arenitpicky - Tom Sizemore did not play the Delta Force character you mention - Eric Bana did (who later played in Hulk). Sergeant Matt Everston did notlead the raid by any means. He wa sin charge of one of the 4 Ranger Chalks,which think are kind of like platoons. An Army Ranger Captain was over the4 Chalks, and a Lieutenant Colonel was in charge of the ground mission as awhole (both of whom participated in the mission, not just from thesidelines).I also wanted to comment on their comment about it as well taking a negativestance on war (pro vs. con). I didn't think that it did. And there wasalso a statement that this was a war they should never have been involvedin. I think that is a difficult thing to say. Perhaps the wrong move wasto take them out when the going got tough. It wasn't that they wereinterfering in a civil war. It's that they were standing up for humanrights. Warlords were hording food and hundreds of thousands were dying. Certainly that justifies some intervention, but we could debate to no endwhether war is justified of not, and so I won't even go there. But it iseasy to say they never should have been there, but also not fair to saythat. I personally think they should have stayed, but this is my opinion,and not a fact. Anyway, in short I thought the film was good, and based on documentaries ofthe same event, it seems to be fairly accurate in protraying the situationas it was in Somalia in 1993. A job well done.
Ridley Scott has made some great films and made some bad films and BlackHawk Down is one of the bad ones. The fact that the film is an orgy ofaction disrupts the fact that there is actually no story to this. Isuppose you could say that there doesn't really need to be a story becausewhat happened was pretty straight forward and that was a bunch of Americansoldiers went into a city where they became surrounded and trapped. A lotof them died and it became a famous story. The thing is that Ridley Scottconcentrated on bringing us an action packed film about an important storybut didn't really give the cast the character development they are deserved. The cast was huge with Josh Harnett, Eric Bana, Ewan McGregor, TomSizemore and a young pre Lord of the rings Orlando Bloom. None of them getthe chance to shine unless they are all running from bullets and explosions. It is a touching film and is great to watch and look at as thecinematography and editing is excellent but it doesn't count for the pointthe story was not used enough to complete the film that it could have been. The film was shot straight after Hannibal wrapped up so it can only beexplained that Black Hawk down suffered because Scott went from film to filmin a matter of months. It's a shame that films like this cannot become the Masterpieces theydeserve to be.
I just walked out of the theater and am still stunned. This movie touchedmeon levels that I didn't know were in me. It is intense, gritty, andhorrifically real. I feel emotionally raw but would see it again...today.This is a must see movie.
Ridley Scott has done some great films in the past. Some of the Film'sactually won a few academy awards. Black Hawk Down was awesome because well Ridley Scott has made some greatmovies and some are somewhat violent. But, this one tops them all. This Film is rated R for Strong INTENSE GRAPHIC War violence, INTENSEVIOLENT BATTLE Sequences, ONE Scene of GRaphic wounds, andlanguage.Out of the 160 minutes of the movie, 30 minutes of it is talking, and 120minutes is just fighting.I Give this wonderful movie 10 out of 10
I went to see this movie last night with my wife's 15 yo grandson. We satthrough the first 45 minutes that lay the groundwork for the rest of thefilm and we kept wondering when it was going to get interesting. Then, theactual raid on Mogadishu took place and both of us were bored, yes bored, bythe action. There weren't any interesting characters to care about or evendecent dialogue. All it was was a documentary-like view of the incident. Unfortunately, that isn't what we paid to see. We were hoping for anentertaining movie but all we got was carnage. Maybe I missed the point ofthe movie but I didn't really have high expectations, just to beentertained, and this film doesn't.
After the serial killer panto shambles that was Hannibal Ridley Scottreturns to form with Black Hawk Down, a visually spectacular if morallyredundant 'account' of a botched mission into war torn Somalia. There is asmall attempt to put the mission into some kind of political context with anextended prologue but this is really just an old-fashioned action war movie& should be treated as such. Indeed for all Ridleys protestations that hehas made an anti-war film this is a movie about big guns, explosions & "never leave a man behind!"Not so much a series of set-pieces more one elongated action scene whichdoesn't quit. Despite its avoidance of politics what this film does convey is the sheerintensity & relentlessness of battle much like the opening of Saving PrivateRyan. Unlike Spielbergs movie however we don't really care for theindividuals under fire here & this is the films major flaw. But this filmwas never going to be about character development. Scott brings all histalents as a visual director to the conflict the soldiers find themselves inhere with helicopters crashing, bullets flying & buildings exploding allaround you. Unfortunately the score is strictly by the numbers.As for the acting? Well we have passable performances from the majority withonly the two Ewans standing out, Bremner for the right reasons & McGregorfor his awful performance. The rest of the cast suffer amongst all theaction & you really can't tell who is who. Overall this film is a bit of a guilty pleasure, turning a very recent &dubious military manouevre into an action movie. Then again its a bit naiveto expect Hollywood blockbusters to explore the political background to anyconflict.
A gripping, gritty portrayal of our elite fighting forces and the tragedy surrounding their operation against a brutal warlord in Somalia. These men fought bravely and hard, and although they did not receive the support from higher up that might have turned a long, bloody day into the planned shorter operation, they seemed to accept their fate and many were willing to go back in and rescue their comrades. This movie makes you proud to be an American and gives you new respect for our young warriors.See the movie, read the book by Mark Bowden, then see the movie again.
This movie is worth seeing from a historical context. This movie isbased on an actual event and takes some cinematic liberty to fill insome of the blanks.Let's face it, this is not a "re-enacting" of the event - this is a movie.The actual event says as much as you need to know and to makeyour own conclusions about war and humanity. Hell, there's acountless number of hopeless and bloody battles raging all thetime. A movie - as art - can transcend historical context and give usa new insight. Unfortunately, Black Hawk Down is ratherone-dimensional.Considering that around 1000 Somolians were killed, this movieportrays little of their experiences save their bodies being tornapart by bullets and grenades. This is insensitive, but alas, this iswar and - Hollywood. This movie succeeds in delivering the whiteknuckled combat action sought by combat deprived Americanmales, it does not offer much in the way of acting. Some of thedramatic scenes seem contrived and out of place. Though basedon real events and even real dialogue, the presentation of theseparts reeks of Hollywood. It is the intense hyper-realism of thebattle scenes that make some of the scripted scenes seem so outof place.So you want it real then? Okay, how about shut off the sillyAmerican patriotic sound track then. Or how about a sceneshowing Master Sgt. Gary Gordon body dragged through thestreets of the Mog. After all that is what happened. But I digress, itmight not be entertaining! No, but it would be respectful. This isthat man's last hour, that is how he died, why not tell us. An eventsuch as tragic as this shouldn't be entertainment for our popcorn,CNN fueled society.I think we can all agree that after Sept. 11th it just isn't 'fun'anymore. Let us remember then.
This is a very very serious movie. "Gladiator" and "Pearl Harbour"alums have teamed up to produce a very serious movie about war,and a very serious look at the loss of human life. Who knewineptitude, misdirected ambition, and clunky narrative with no realmessage could be so endearing.
If you have ever seen 'Hamburger Hill' or 'Platoon' or 'Private Ryan', youhave seen this. And I mean that in all the right ways. What an intense,gripping, sad, violent, realistic flic. I was very impressed, the theatrewas full, hardly anyone moved at during the last 90 minutes. Some parts ofthis reminded me of 'Custer's Last Stand' or 'Zulu Dawn', where all theBrits get surrounded in the valley and mowed down 120 years ago-it's thatkinda scenario.I had no idea Ewan MacGregor was in it-which guy was he? Hartnett, Bana andLegolas there were fine. I think that Scott and Bruckheimer are to becongratulated for making such terrifyingly gripping pic as this; and it'sright on time too-considering what has been happening in the world oflate.****, sure why not? It's as good as a war movie gets.PS: Yeah a lotta Black Somalis are killed in the flick, and were killed inthe real world battle this shows from 8 years ago. Deal with it. It's notanymore racist than your garden variety CNN coverage of us bombing theAghanis, Iraqis or whomever, take yer pick. It's the way the world works.
Breathtaking. Simply breathtaking. No other film has depicted war,soldiersand courage of our military. I meen there have been good war movies madeinthe past but none of them measure up to the uniqueness of the filmitself.For everyone who knows not the horror of war, but the job of out armedforces, the movie was made by geniuses. In this movie you observe whatwaris actually like, almost feel like you are at the battle. Bullets flyingpast your head, dodging rpg's. Black hawk Down is about 123 elite u.s.soliders dropping into somalia to capture 2 top officials of muhamadfarahaddid, a warlord causing unjustice to the somali people. When thesolidersfind themselves fighting for their life against armed somalis. Theyrealizeit's all about the man next 2 you. My opinion the gr8est movie evermade.
This movie portrays a thin slice of reality most people will never know. Iwas in Somalia with the US Marine Expeditionary Unit before the UN tookoverand the new administration blew the political gains we made when I wasthere.Some will cry racism and others will claim superiority complex - me, I justsay, you weren't there so you don't know.In this movie, you will see just what the fighting enlisted man must facewhen his country calls on him. We don't get to pick our fights based onthepolitical correctness of the situation - war doesn't work that way. Whenweget dropped into a situation, we know we could buy the farm and it could bebecause something went wrong on our own side.This movie is not for you to learn something about what the US was tryingtodo in Somalia. It is not for you to learn the intricate details of eachperson's life that was in this fight. What the movie will do is showindividual determination to survive one more day and make sure your buddydoes too. If not, we will at least bring you home to those who loved you.That's what I wanted.It's not pretty, it's real. It doesn't show Somalia at it's best - theyaren't doing such a great job of that themselves right now either.Go see this and learn something about yourself. If you want to make somestupid political statement about it later - keep it toyourself.I was there - where were you?
Black Hawk Down is a movie that realistically portraits the Rangers and Delta soldiers in Somalia. It's an ensemble cast (something like 35 speaking roles) that acts well and feels genuine. Ridley Scott does a great job making this movie. The man has made some of the greatest movies (Blade Runner, Alien) and Black Hawk Down lives up to his previous works. There is also a haunting score from Hans Zimmer. The set design is so realistic that I can't believe it didn't win an award for its production design. It's a great movie, and it is no surprise to find Jerry Bruckheimer as one of the producers. It does fall a little short as a dvd. There is no commentary, and really no special features outside a short documentary on the film. But even without fully realizing the capabilities of dvd, the movie itself makes it worth buying.
dismal acting, messy plot, but hey... the propaganda in theremakes it hilarious from the opening credits to the end.it does get a bit boring around 2/3ds in, but hey... can't get it allnow, can you ?(on a personnal note, i'd like to thank Ridley Scott for allowing meto laugh at the same time i saw a starving body for the first time inmy life)what it all comes down to is that, apart from the fact it's visuallyinteresting, james nachtwey's inferno (big black book) will give youa much more interesting look at what was going on down therewithout having to deal with the propagandistic crap scott isselling.i must also note this is one of the rare movies i've seen in the pastcouple of years that made me consider leaving the theater beforethe end.
This is probably one of the best"war" movies i ever seen.A real men's movie it doesnt have any romantic "yoho" in it:-)Well made brutal and pure. Worth a "10" all the way!!!!!
I know it's never a great idea to compare a book with a movie, but thismovie was throughly disappointing. Much of the visuals were stunning, andsome of the street fighting looked and felt much as it must have to thoseguys that day. But too much of this movie felt slapped together too quickly,without much thought put into it. Granted, there were incredible eventshappening in about a half-dozen places, but, instead of trying to cramlittle bits of all of it into this movie, maybe they would have been betterserved by focusing on a few of the truly heroic events. The 2 Delta Forcecommandos (Shughart and Gordon), who insisted on being dropped into the 2ndcrash site was, in reality, a breathtakingly courageous sequence thatdeserved more than it got in this film. It's touched on, but nothing more.These guys won Medals of Honor for their actions. What these guys did wasthe epitome of what we believe elite soldiers represent. They deserved to beportrayed in this movie much more prominently.In reading the book, there were a few other acts of incredible bravery anddrama that should have been played out more. However, nearly everything thathappened that day is very briefly touched on, as if the point was toshoehorn all of it in somehow. The effect is confusing. You end up notknowing who is who, and who is where, and what the hell is goingon...This event, and these soldiers deserved something better. In reality, it'sjust about a miracle, and a testament to their bravery and training, thatthe entire contingent of Rangers, Seals, Air Force Parajumpers and CombatControllers weren't totally slaughtered that day.This movie should have been a little longer, and should have been plannedand thought-out more. This was mostly a disappointing waste of anopportunity.
I'm curious...how does IMDb choose which review is to be the onedisplayed with the movie details as the "default" review. The review Iread politicized the movie, which from what I could see was as near afactual telling of the Black Hawk Down incident as Hollywood coulddeliver, without it becoming a documentary. Black Hawk Down is neither"pro" nor "con" about war - it simply recounts what happened. For thosethat would like to paint the US forces as "cruel aggressors" and theSomalis as "freedom fighters," you would have to ignore the first tenminutes of the movie. The original intent of the Black Hawk Downmission was to try and capture two of the warlord's lieutenants, inorder to stop the civil conflict. Remember, the Somalis were beingsystematically starved, raped, and murdered. The U.S. was there to tryto feed the starving people and end the conflict - hardly a situationwhere the U.S. was acting as an aggressor. The Somalis warlords werebusy killing anyone that stood in their way. Our soldiers were in thewrong place at the wrong time and were ambushed. Black Hawk Down themovie does a masterful job showing just what that ambush was like. Thereal question raised by the movie comes years later. Osama Bin Ladenhas stated publicly that the U.S. pullout of Somalia after the BlackHawk Down incident convinced him that the U.S. did not have the stomachfor war, and would run from a conflict. Thanks to the Clintonadministration's response, in 2001 we discovered just what a policy of"turn tail and run" would bring. Black Hawk Down is a riveting look atone military battle that had effects on U.S. policy - and terroristsplans that reached far beyond Somalia.
This film, long overdue, is a must see for anyone who cares about the lifethey live in America. True to the events, and true to the book, this filmisa perfect piece of art combined with documentary to give the generalpublica taste of what is required for our kind of privileged lifestyle we have,onthese shores, to be maintained.It also provokes the question: do we need to police the world?Hopefully, the film will bolster our support of our troups while makingsurewe question our government and its motives at every turn as we proceedintothe Unknown.The blatant ignoring of this incident when it occurred is an unforgivablefaux pas by our own country. The world festers in many places; we need toacknowledge when we are contributing to the disease and learn to standdown,when and if appropriate. Hopefully, this film reminds all of us to remainalert.
Although I can understand everyone liking this film, it still has beenturned into something it isnt. It has been "americanised". I found thishardto believe as the director was British. But, as with so many of Americanfilms based on themselves in war, it has been turned into a victory film,promoting there "always win" attitude. (eg. Saving Private Ryan, U571).Somalia, Vietnam and all of disputes involving American since WW2 havebeenfailures, but when those few soles running into the Pakistani stadium attheend being clapped, i thought to myself, "America wins again".