2003-06-15 08:36:16

I was going to write a review for Super Troopers but have decided against doing so. It’s really not worth it. A few funny moments but nothing more.

On the other hand, Black Hawk Down is an excellent film depicting the ill-fated attempt to capture a warlord from the Somali capital, Mogadishu in 1993. This is quite simply one of the best, if not the best, war movies I’ve seen. This movie gripped me more than even Saving Private Ryan, which itself was a groundbreaking movie in terms of the realism it was able to capture on film. The performances from all the leading cast members was excellent. The story was told in a way that didn’t glorify war, while simultaneously doing no dishonour to the soldiers whose lives were lost in that battle. The comradery between soldiers is captured in this film like no previous war movie has been able to capture before. Indeed, comradship is the central theme of this film. One other important point about Black Hawk Down is the way the Somalis are portrayed. The film is very careful not to portray them as completely evil people. In fact, a central tenet of the film is that the reasons for war are never black and white. There are all sorts of complexities at the political level. But what counts on the battle-field is the guy standing beside you. Everything else, all the politics and whatnot, goes out the window. The rule holds for the Somalis just as it does for the Americans. But the best aspect of the film for me was the way in which it was shot. The cinematography is stunning, having a huge affect on the way the movie comes across. It’s a hundred miles an hour from go to whoa. Black Hawk Down features some of the best hand-held camera work I’ve seen in a movie to date. This, coupled with the gritty scenery of a Moroccan coastal town which posed as the Somali capital, created a the perfect atmosphere for the film. It’s a very bloody film, but I suppose if it wants to depict reality, it has to be. Further adding to the reality is the fact that many of the characters were factually based. The leading characters in the film were actual soldiers who took part in the mission in 1993. In short, a fantastic film that brings home the reality and futility of war.