Top 10s


Movie Review Black Hawk Down
 February 22, 2002
Grade:  B
Director:  Ridley Scott Released:  December 2001
Writer:  Ken Nolan, from Mark Bowden's book MPAA Rating:  R
Players:  Josh Hartnett, Eric Bana, Ewan McGregor, Tom Sizemore Running time:  144 minutes
Ratings Methodology


This is another of those "based on a true story" films that leaves you wondering exactly how much of it is accurate, and how much is Hollywood.  That aside, Black Hawk Down is entertaining, and a little too long.  I've been noticing a recent trend of directors being unable to cut the fat from their films, and Ridley Scott may be one of the chief perpetrators.  Gladiator also could have used some trimming (how many battle scenes does one movie need?).  Even if you're trying to accurately portray the events as they occurred, sometimes it's better for a film to capture the essence of the events, rather than recreate them minute-by-minute. 

While it's a fine movie, and I enjoyed seeing it, the main issue I have with Black Hawk Down is that it's largely the same old stuff.  I've seen so many fire fights and war scenarios played out in movies, that the battles don't offer much new.  In my opinion, the film would have been better served if they concentrated on the strategies involved a little more than the bloodshed.  Not to mention that possibly the most interesting subplot (the capture of a U.S. soldier who is then held hostage) is completely dropped at one point and is only finished up with a sentence of on-screen text before the credits roll.

The action is relentless once it gets going, and effectively puts the viewer into the battle, so I'll give this film credit for accomplishing that.  I just think the goals for the film should have been more lofty than merely showing us what war is like.

- crocoPuffs


Eric Bana plays the maverick army ranger.  Bana is also playing Bruce Banner in the upcoming Hulk movie.


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