Published on February 26th, 2010 | by Chris0
Tears of the Sun (2003)
Well, if there's one thing Bruce Willis does well, its play hard-nosed military types, such as Lt. A.K. Waters in Tears of the Sun.
Part of a Navy Special Ops team, he's dropped into Nigeria to rescue one Dr. Kendricks (Monica Bellucci) and a few other do-gooders at a local mission from the perils of civil war.
And, wouldn't you know it, he gets more than he bargained for. She won't leave without at least some of the people from the mission, and Waters agrees just to get them underway. Leaving the priest and sisters behind, it quickly becomes clear this was a bad idea.
The choppers arrive, and this is where the premise goes completely from "OK, I'm with you" to "It'd never happen." He turns the birds around and orders them to take the refugees into Cameroon, leaving his team, the doctor, and a few able stragglers to hoof it out through the jungle to the Cameroon border.
From there, it becomes what I'd call a "things you wish would actually happen" movie. The team protects the band of refugees, and along the way, goes vigilante on some regular army brutally raping and pillaging a village (say *that* three times fast.) That's probably one of the high points of the film, and cements the team in their decision to get these folks to safety.
But wait, there's more. Turns out one of them is actually the son and only surviving member of the President's family. Making their mission not only one of humanity but politics as well. Necessary? I dunno, but it definitely turns up the "urgency" factor as they have to outrun the army to the border.
All in all, I'm torn on this film. Like I said, the premise just (in my opinion) would never happen. They'd either turn around and leave her there, continue with her in the Blackhawks leaving the refugees, or some equally callous move like that. That's just reality. Like another war movie put it, "We're not here to do the right thing, we're here to follow f-ing orders."
On the other hand, it turns out to be an engaging war movie. The battle scenes never really scream "bogus!" at you, and as I said above it makes you think about what might happen (and what does happen, unfortunately.)
Too bad I never really got sold on Waters' "conversion" if you will towards the side of good, either. I might have bought into the premise a little more, but Willis just seems to carry the "I'm a badass" persona throughout.
Tears of the Sun is not a bad movie, and definitely makes for a good action/war flick. As a statement it tries hard, but really doesn't deliver, and I'm not sure if that was the point or not. Still worth watching.
Watched via Netflix on my handy-dandy Roku Player. The little amazing box.
Here's one of the battle scenes to wet your whistle on: