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Columbia Pictures
Official Site
Director: Ridley Scott
Producers: Jerry Bruckheimer and Ridley Scott
Written by: Mark Bowden and Ken Nolan
Cast: Josh Hartnett, Tom Sizemore, Ewan McGregor, and Sam Shepard

Rating: out of 5

BLACK HAWK DOWN is one of the most harrowing and realistic war movies made to date. In times like these, when the movie market is saturated with feel-good films and patriotic-pride-propaganda (ever heard of PEARL HARBOR), BLACK HAWK DOWN casts a clear eye on the horror of war and paints its characters vividly and true to form.

HAWK chronicles the U.S. battle of Mogadishu. On October 3, 1993, U.S. forces engaged in the longest sustained ground battle involving American soldiers since the Vietnam War. U.S. Special Forces invaded the Somali city by Humvee and helicopter to abduct two of Somalian warlord Mohamed Farrah Aididís lieutenants. Soon into the skirmish, one of the Black Hawk helicopters plummets to the earth due to enemy fire. Under orders from Major General William Garrison, no man is to be left behind. The Humvee convoys sent to gather the wounded soldiers meet with constant fire from the Somalis and have to maneuver labyrinthine city roads. As the battle ensues, two more helicopters crash, leaving the army with countless men to rescue.

In many war movies, the screenplay serves up either one or a few characters to follow their tribulations throughout the military ordeal. When one of the men dies, you canít help feeling a sense of loss as well. This technique puts a human face on the senselessness of war. HAWK does not do this. What this movie does do is present an ensemble of men (several of them notable actors, including Josh Hartnett fresh off the Hawaiian isles, Tom Sizemore, Ewan McGregor, and Sam Shepard) who collectively carry the action of the movie. When a man dies sometimes you donít really recognize him. It realistically represents the facelessness of warómen donít know who they kill in battle, just faces of the enemy.

I wouldnít recommend this film to the weak of stomach due to highly graphic war scenes and countless injuries. I would recommend this film to those who want to see a piece of history to help reflect on the current situation America finds itself inóalthough in this war we are not fighting someone elseís war; we are fighting our own. We are not trying to rescue another country, but our own.

óJennifer Prestigiacomo

hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

Itís worth a full-price ticket.

Itís worth a matinee ticket.

Wait for video rental.

Check out the video from the library, if you must.

While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...

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