Black Hawk Down
This action/war drama, based on a true story detailed in a best-selling book, shows in stark reality the tragedy that can happen when the U.S. military is thrust into an ill-conceived police action in a foreign land. When Maj. Gen. William Garrison (Sam Shepard) orders his elite force of 120 American Delta units and Ranger infantry to drop into Mogadishu, Somalia to abduct two of a Somalian warlord’s top lieutenants, he thinks it will only take an hour. But the one-hour October 3rd, 1993 operation stretches into fifteen, resulting in 18 Americans dead, 73 wounded, and the deaths of hundreds of Somalians. The mission, commanded by Capt. Mike Steele (Jason Isaacs), sees two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters shot down by mobs of armed gunmen, who engage the Americans in a prolonged and vicious firefight. The heroic efforts by various rangers to rescue the helicopter crews, center around a unit commanded by Sgt. Matt Eversmann (Josh Hartnett) which is pinned down for a time by street fighting.
Ridley Scott, director of “Gladiator,” fills the screen at least ninety percent of the time with violent and sometimes bloody battle scenes. Legs and arms go flying and a bloody leg wound gushes up close and personal. This is a war movie with a capital ‘W,’ and one won’t find much humor unless it’s the time a soldier forgets to install earplugs before firing a big gun. While viewers can be proud of the training and dedication shown by the American soldier, graphic violence, frequent obscenities and strong profanities fail to lift “Black Hawk Down.”