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TSM Movie Review - Black Hawk Down

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I've been sick as a dog all week and never really got a chance to put together my usually news report thing this week. I'm fixing to leave so I don't have time to do it today either. I DID find time to throw this thing together though.


Black Hawk Down



Directed by Ridley Scott

Written by Ken Nolan

Starring: Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Eric Bana and Tom Sizemore


Review by Jason Castleman


I can not recall the last time I watched a movie that was as pointless and unneeded as Ridley Scott's Black Hawk Down. If somebody can explain why I watched this movie, please feel free to explain it, cause I sure as hell can't. I don't understand why it was even made. It has no story. No characters. No point. I can't think of any reason to watch it or for it to even exist. It doesn't teach us anything about the situation. It doesn't teach us anything about the Army. It's like watching 2 and a half hours of nothing.


Four possible points this movie tried to make...


1. War sucks. Ok. I got that. I got that years ago. I got that from every other war movie that came before this one and nearly all of them were better than this one.


2. You never leave a man behind. Ok. I got that too. I got that as soon as Sam Shepard said it the FIRST TIME. I didn't need it banged into my head for the next 2 hours. Good Lord, they said that 1000 times in the movie.


3. The real life situation these guys found themselves in was terrible. I got that too. I got that from the news when it actually happened. This movie doesn't show you anything that we didn't see on the news. Except that this version is a horrible re-enactment. You could watch a 45 minute long History Channel documentary on this subject and that will give you 5 times amount the information that Black Hawk Down gives you and it'll will make you feel a LOT more emotions for these poor guys than this crappy movie does. This was a very important and sad situation, neither of those qualities are shown in this movie.


4. That in battle people shoot guns a lot. That one was VERY easy to understand. Cause that is ALL you see in Black Hawk Down. People shooting guns. That's it. The person I was watching the movie with and myself kept taking more and more frequent breaks away from the movie the longer it dragged on. The conversations we had when we would return went like this...


"What did I miss?"


"Nothing. Bullets."


"Did I miss anything?"


"They shot a lot of guns and they drove some hummers around."


"What happened?"


"Not much. These guys were shooting guns at the other guys."


"Did I miss any shooting?"


"Yeah, a little bit."


"Anything happen yet?"




"No shooting?"


"Well, yeah, there was some shooting."


People like to knock Saving Private Ryan saying that only the first 20 minutes of the movie is good and that the rest sucks. People knock Pearl Harbor for being a love story. Well, at least those movies HAD a story. At least they HAD something to say. At least there was a reason for them to EXIST. I still haven't figured out why Black Hawk Down exists. All it was was 2 hours of VERY poorly executed action scenes. I mean, it would be one thing if the action was good. 2 hours of solid action, fine, but the action here is terrible and boring! Action scenes were nothing more than shoot, shoot, shoot, jerky camera movement, shoot, shoot, shoot. Even worse, the action does nothing to move the story along because there isn't a story to move along. At least Ryan HAD that first 20 minutes and it also had that final battle that was just as good. At least Pearl Harbor HAD the attack. The direction of the action scenes in Black Hawk Down make the fighting impossible to follow. The hyper-MTV-quick cuts are in over-drive in this movie. There are so many cuts that it feels like you're watching the movie with a strobe light on. Add that to the fact that every single actor in the movie looks exactly the same and it makes it completely impossible to figure out which character you're watching at any given moment. Is that Josh Hartnett or Ewan McGregor? I don't have a clue. Did that dude from Whiteboyz get shot? I think so, but how am suppose to tell?


Every single person in this movie is a "name" actor or somebody that is at least recognizable. Why did they pay for all these "good" actors just to throw them into a movie with no dialogue, no acting, no way to tell any of them apart, no story and no characters?


This is the worst movie I've seen since The Thin Red Line. While it's nowhere near being as bad as that piece of crap was, it's pretty friggin pathetic in it's own right. There is not one redeeming quality anywhere in this film. And I can sum up exactly what I think about this movie with actual dialogue from the movie itself.


Eric Bana and Josh Hartnett are talking at the end of the film about all the crap that just happened. Talking about what they'll tell people when they go home.


Eric Bana says "They won't understand why we do it. They won't understand that it's about the men next to you, and that's it. That's all it is."


He then turns to go back out and shoot his little rifle some more. Hartnett starts to go with him but Bana stops him and says...."I work better alone."


What?! It's all about the men next to you....but....I work better alone?? WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT MEAN!!? It means even the people making this movie have no idea what they're trying to say. It's a total contradiction of the line he said 5 seconds ago!


In closing here are some comments I found from somebody that was actually around the situation when it happened....


"I may be biased, based on the fact that I was in the 10th Mountain Div. in Somalia, at the time. This was the most ridiculously misrepresented and inaccurate movie I have ever seen. If I hadn't paid to see it, I wouldn't have stayed past 5 minutes. "Everyone calls it the Mogue" - maybe they should have pulled a grand away from that massive special effects budget to hire a real military advisor and get it right! This movie was a joke from beginning to end. I truly believe that this movie makes our military look idiotic and pathetic. I cannot believe it won any awards at all. It's plot is meandering and impossible to follow. It's characters are two-dimensional and unrealistic. In short, I hated this movie. Thank you."


Me too.


Click here to send me hate mail.

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