These are films that I've seen over the years that I've either liked or loved, but A LOT of people…
Tears of the Sun
He was trained to follow orders. He became a hero by defying them.
Navy SEAL Lieutenant A.K. Waters and his elite squadron of tactical specialists are forced to choose between their duty and their humanity, between following orders by ignoring the conflict that surrounds them, or finding the courage to follow their conscience and protect a group of innocent refugees. When the democratic government of Nigeria collapses and the country is taken over by a ruthless military dictator, Waters, a fiercely loyal and hardened veteran is dispatched on a routine mission to retrieve a Doctors Without Borders physician.
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
Why must the greatest action heroes of our modern cinema age insist on trying to make earnest films with deeper meaning? Tears of the Sun is one of those films that utterly restrains a man of genuine star charisma in a role that's more of a political, stone walled cipher than any kind of memorable character - in this case Bruce Willis, a man of course best known for blowing up buildings in a vest, with a swagger and a dose of 'fuck you' attitude. Now people forget Willis actually can act, which he's proved more than once in turning his hard man gaze into a soft vulnerability, but Antoine Fuqua is nowhere near the kind of filmmaker to pull…
Antoine Fuqua is a director that makes films that I invariably want to see. Whether it be the upcoming remake of The Magnificent Seven due in the Fall or the ferocious action sequences of Training Day or The Equalizer, he knows how to get your attention. Tears of the Sun may be down the pecking order a touch from his more well received films, but it still has a lot to offer even without the presence of Denzel Washington, Fuqua's go-to guy.
Tears of the Sun is a cliché-ridden war film with more than a few cheesy lines. What it lacks in the script however, it makes up for in action. By the time you add the beauty of Monica…
Fuqua is a magician: give him almost any material and he'll transform it into something superficial. The feature has a weak storyline and awful pacing issues, lack of good acting and characters that you care for. They expect from us to be moved by images of human suffering while forgetting the most essential elements of filmmaking. War is no game in real life, that's true, but the war genre is no game either. How am I supposed to feel sympathy for cardboard cutouts despite a surrounding carnage? And how am I supposed to believe that an emotionless Bruce Willis, with a permanently serious face that rivals Steven Seagal's, had motivations, feelings, objectives or whatever it was he had? He was asked in the film why he changed the mission. His answer was: "I'll tell you when I know". We we never told. There was no need to abandon the audience and leave it with sensationalism.
Reductively and cluelessly stumbles into every single trap you'd expect of a film about American military might separating "good" Africans from "bad" ones. If I'm being honest, though, my hardware fetish and general love of screen violence keep it relatively enjoyable.
This was just a standard war movie. In it, this film has a few Americans take on a few hundred murderous evil bad guys, a soldier grows a heart and risks his men's lives to save the indigenous people from being slaughtered and maimed by the regime, and of course the white woman that makes everything difficult by being stubborn. These are all pretty much standard fare for the genre. There's really nothing new here, but if you like war-action movies, you should enjoy this.
A gripping war epic that sees Bruce Willis leading a special team on an extraction mission in Africa. What do you do when you a faced with evil? Not of a supernatural nature but of humanity's tendency to harm each other. Do you press on and do as you're told or do you confront that evil?
The good intentions of this would-be action movie keep it from really ever becoming an action movie, but its nods in that direction sort of defuse its ability to do good. It's even harder than it sounds to buy Bruce Willis' spiritual conversion (much less Monica Bellucci 's) since the script never really gives him a moment to express himself. He only, suddenly, realizes he needs to do what's Right, and if the world was that simple, we wouldn't have problems like those that exist here.
Tears of the Sun is a well above average action drama about a team of Navy Seals who are sent into war torn Nigeria to extricate an Italian doctor but only to find themselves compromised by the conscience of their Lieutenant. In some respects it is a tale of redemption, not that the individual Navy Seals are bad men but they somehow come to represent the power of the West and its negligence in helping and defending smaller, weaker nations: turning a blind eye unless it suits them. Bruce Willis and Monica Bellucci have good chemistry together, but the chance to develop their characters and the relationship is often overlooked. Indeed, the action is intense, fierce and very well captured…
A great war film, with plenty of heart to it. I would rate this one higher than Fuqua's Training Day. It just really hit the right notes for me.
[patriotism gets louder and louder until it becomes deafening]
The sequel is a crossover with A Few Good Men where Tom Cruise has to defend Willis in his court-martial for this absolute clusterfuck of a mission.
Awful and generic war movie with a paperthin story and weak performances in front of the camera. Hoped it was better the second time around,but nope. It is absolutely awful.
A solid movie that plays out like a First Person Shooter.
One suspenseful scene but you would expect that in the jungle at night. At other times the suspense is put on hold while the characters hold committee meetings in enemy territory. The casting could have been better.
A fine war film with pretty good action directed by Antoine Fuqua, the biggest crime is that it forces Bruce Willis to be incredibly uncharismatic.
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