Thursday, October 8, 2009

Black Hawk Down

Black Hawk Down; War drama, USA, 2001; D: Ridley Scott, S: Josh Hartnett, Tom Sizemore, Jason Isaacs, Ewan McGregor, Eric Bana, William Fichtner, Sam Shepard

Somalia, '93. The civil war is raging and the death toll keeps rising. In order to arrest some of despot Mohammed Farah Aidid's henchmen, the US army organizes a military action in Mogadishu. Sargent Eversmann is the the head of the unit in which the US soldiers storm a building where Aidid's subordinate is suppose to be, but everything goes wrong. Somali soldiers shoot down two US helicopters and attack soldiers. It ends in a massacre, but some soldiers manage to save themselves.

Vicious war drama "Black Hawk Down" consists out of two parts: in the first, "passive" dramaturgy prevails, whereas action prevails in the second one that displays almost a 90 minutes non-stop parade of fight sequences. Making movies about "unknown" conflicts in the Western world, like Somali civil war, is something that should be praised, yet the fact that Ridley Scott received an Oscar nod as best director for this film is rather debatable. Truth be told, many situations are brilliantly "dressed up" in pretty images, but due to spot like editing the scenes last for only a couple of seconds and seem rushed while the characters remain one-dimensional puppets. The best ingredients are clever observations (US soldiers are making a barbecue out of a Somali boar; a helicopter is falling in circling motion on the street) and successful synthesis out of action and demanding tone, yet "Hawk" is still unfocused and a step bellow excellent "Saving Private Ryan".


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