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Film Review - Tears of the Sun
Oh! What a Stinkburger!
I like Bruce Willis. Of all the action movie stars, he delivers more often than most. You say "Movie! Bruce Willis!" and I'm there. Oh, how I wish I had just stayed home and mowed the lawn.
Tears of the Sun is a message movie with a strong message. Everyday in Africa, some tribe is trying to commit genocide on another tribe. It's cruel, bloody, and no one believes in taking prisoners. This movie puts a face on this suffering. Without this message, this movie has no reason to exist.
I applaud the message movie. If only Hollywood would take a stand and make more film that has more reason to exist than making a simple profit. But setting aside this message, and the face of suffering, this movie is horribly flawed in it's production values, editing, and quite frankly the miscasting of Willis.
Willis is a Navy Seal Lieutenant serving abound the U.S.S. Harry S. Truman. Wrong! Bruce Willis is in his forties. If you're in the Navy and in your forties, you're either a very senior Chief Petty Officer, or a Senior Officer. Unless you just got busted, you are not going to be a forty year old Lieutenant.
Willis and his team have just extracted the American ambassador from an African nation where a civil war is brewing. As he steps off the helicopter he is told to get ready to go back out. This happens on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier. I point this out because one of the significant issues with this film is its believability as a military movie. Tom Skerritt plays Willis' Captain. But apparently, he's not allowed to step inside the aircraft carrier. He calls Willis from the flight deck with a finger in one ear and a satellite phone in the other.
Let's talk about bad production values and poor editing. There's a fire fight where it's raining every other shot. Obviously, the production team was on location and not in control of the elements. But this was a fast cut shoot up, the discontinuity is so obvious, it draws you out of the scene and into the editing room. This sucked!
Finally, there is matter of the end. All I will say is Willis' character never acts like a professional military man. What I mean by this is, he never draws up a battle plan to deal with the threat that he knows is coming down on him.
This was a thoroughly disappointing movie, that I wish I hadn't wasted my time and money on. I applaud the message, but stay away from this film.
Directed by Antoine Fuqua
Released in 2003
MPAA Rating: R
Reviewed by Mongo