Published on September 12th, 2007 | by Chris0
Black Hawk Down (2002)
You'll have to pardon the R-rated nature of this review, but damn, after seeing this (actually for the 2nd time) I can't help it.
In a word, Black Hawk Down is intense. In two words: Fucking Intense. So intense that when its over you will feel worn out, angry, and down. And that's just as it should be. You'll also feel thankful, at least I hope you will.
Black Hawk Down is based on actual events surrounding the capture attempt of General Aidid in Somalia in 1993. I'm not going to repeat history, you can read all about it on good ol' Wikipedia.
What strikes me most about this movie is that if you were to look up the definition of "clusterfuck" in the dictionary, there'd be instructions to watch it. The series of decisions and events are portrayed that culminated in the loss of 19 (or 18 depending on your source) lives and over 70 wounded in a single operation over 18 hours or so. If nothing else, it should show just how totally fucked up the current (even then) military "micro-management" style has become. You start yelling at the screen, and getting downright pissed off....
If I go down that road I'll be writing for hours, so that's all I'm going to say about that. Back to the movie....
Actually things start off rather slow, but really all we're doing is the obligatory character development and story set-up. It's unfortunate it takes 30 minutes, but once that's over, the fight is on.
And it does. Not. Stop. The constant pinging of ricochets, the low growl of the Blackhawks, the hurried buzzing of the Kiowas, and the yelling. It just doesn't stop until its all over. The confusion and mis-steps that result, and compound the situation will make your head spin. The General walking into the operating room and wiping up pools of blood was a nice touch. A bit obvious, but a nice touch none the less.
Is it graphic? Yes. Make no bones about it, if you've got a soft stomach then you should probably avoid it, prep yourself, or watch it with someone who's seen it already. You will see things that aren't pretty, nor are they fun. Understand that also, this is by no means a "fun" movie. There is no "happy ending" where everyone waves the flag and triumphant music rings out, quite the opposite in fact. Not something you just pop in on a Saturday afternoon with a bowl of corn and a brew.
You'll also wonder just what the fuck we were doing there in the first place. I know I did then, and still do now. Even after watching this. Yeah you get the Delta's little speech at the end, about doing it for the guy sitting next to you and all that. But I don't really see how after the last hour and a half of hell on earth, that matters at all.
So what should you take away from this? After you watch it, go outside to your patio, sit down, listen to the quiet, and thank God you weren't there. And then thank the guys who *do* do this stuff. And if you are one of them, then I'm glad you're still here to read this, and thanks.
The cast? I can't really fault anyone's performance. Although it is funny watching Ewan MacGregor as "Grimsey" try to feign an American accent. Also starring is Josh Harnett as Sgt. Eversmann, Tom Sizemore (who oddly seems to fall back into his "Private Ryan" role at the end), Eric Bana, William Fichtner, Sam Shepard, Ron Eldard and many, many more.
The audio and cinematography is also quite well done, I viewed this on DVD on a proper digital 5.1 setup, and it is utilized as well as it can be. I imagine though if you were to view this on a standard two (or even one) channel set the noise would start to "mush" together, for lack of a better term.
I'm giving Black Hawk Down a full nine. I have yet to give out a total ten, and I'm not sure what would make that happen, but this is close. Prepare yourself, put away the kids, and watch when you're ready.
Black Hawk Down (3-Disc Deluxe Edition)
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From acclaimed director Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Hannibal) and renowned producer Jerry Bruckheimer (Pearl Harbor, Armageddon) comes a gripping true story about bravery, camaradarie and the complex reality of war...
DVD InformationBinding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audience Rating: R (Restricted)
Manufacturer: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Original Release Date:
- Josh Hartnett
- Ewan McGregor
- Tom Sizemore
- Eric Bana
- This Certified Refurbished product is tested and certified to look and work like new. The refurbishing process includes functionality testing, basic cleaning, inspection, and repackaging. The product ships with all relevant accessories, a minimum 90-day warranty, and may arrive in a generic box.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I Discovered via Amazon Recommendation,
This review is from: Black Hawk Down (DVD)This movie Black Hawk Down featured multiple tragic and yet poignant performances from various actors (Josh Harnett, Ewan McGregor and many more) to where I admit that it is tricky for me to decide where to start. For starters, the movie dvd opens with sharing that part of the reason why the American soldiers were deployed to this area of Somalia that the area featured had to do with hunger being used as a tool for death even when there were international humanitarian missions involving food deliveries. I admit that I have to study more history involving this movie before writing too much more. However, I reluctantly admit that this movie shot footage in a way that suggests that one of the reasons why the fighting took as long as it did was that there were many more of their soldiers to the number of American soldiers. My logic is stopping me from saying more. One of the details shared towards the end of this tragic yet still well acted movie was that during the raid over 1,000... Read more
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Modern War Masterpiece,
This review is from: Black Hawk Down (Amazon Video)
Probably the best modern war film I've ever seen. I read the book in 7th grade before watching. Can't believe how accurate it is to the true story while creating an enthralling group of characters. Ridley Scott makes sure to give all points of view on the conflict, and in the end drives home a message about sticking up for the person next to you, whether that be a fellow Ranger or another country in need. We're all part of one human race. And I felt that while watching. Oh yeah, and the action is dope and perfectly shot and edited. Like a great director, story comes first though.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Worthy of an upgrade to Blu-Ray,
This review is from: Black Hawk Down [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Given that this is one of my all-time favorite movies, it's one of the few dvds in my collection worthy of an upgrade to Blu-Ray.
I read the book, which is excellent, when it was first published and thought there was no way a movie could do justice to what happened there. I was wrong.
Technically, both the video and audio quality are excellent. In terms of value, the extra features, most especially the commentary by some of the military personnel who were present, are alone worth the price of admission. As far as the movie itself, this is a great one. The story is compelling, especially since it's based on an actual event. The directing is top-notch. The acting is excellent and wholly believable. Black Hawk Down is the sort of movie that stays with you long after it's over.
Black Hawk Down is a worthy tribute to our men and women in uniform in general and to the soldiers who took part in this battle in particular.
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Summary: In a word, Black Hawk Down is intense. In two words: Fucking Intense. So intense that when its over you will feel worn out, angry, and down. And that's just as it should be. You'll also feel thankful, at least I hope you will.