Starring: Ewan McGregor, Josh Hartnett, Tom Sizemore
Director: Ridley Scott
Running Time: 144 mins
Black Hawk Down is an American film based on the events during the Battle of Mogadishu in Somalia in 1993, where a troop of US Marines are sent into the capital to bring down a ruthless Somali warlord controlling the country, however they find themselves in a fierce battle against hundreds of armed militiamen.
This film is famous for two reasons. One is the pure action and historical tale, and the other is the emotional element, saying that in battle: ‘No man is left behind.’ Now, in my opinion only one of those aspects actually worked in making this a properly good film.
And that was the action and history. The detailing of the battles in this film are shown in such a gritty and realistic light that it pulls you in from the start, and although you have a great deal of harrowing images of blood and guts, it shows you the true horrors of war, which makes you appreciate all the more the job that the men and women of the armed services do to protect the people of the world.
It’s not only the gritty realism that is so visually strong in this film, but the nature of the action is also very powerful. During the lengthy battle scenes, it’s a fast-paced, action-packed film, with fantastic directing from Ridley Scott that puts you right into the middle of the battlefield, making it so much more exciting to watch.
The most impressive thing about this film, though, is its historical detail. It’s a fascinating tale that puts you into the middle of a hugely significant event in the Somalian Civil War, that educates you into something that is not necessarily revered as such a pivotal historical event in the post-Gulf War world, and yet is truly fascinating.
However, the emotional side of the film doesn’t get pulled off as well as it should have. This is largely because of the impact the action and battling is already having completely overpowers everything the emotion is trying to bring into the story.
A large portion of this film relies on the emotional side of things, talking about how troops stick and fight together to the very last, however it’s not necessarily as impacting or heart-pounding as it really needed to be. Although it is partly because you do become overly accustomed to a fast-paced action thriller for the majority of the film, there is just not enough true emotion to fully engage you in that side of things, and that’s where this film lets itself down a lot.
Overall, I’ll give this a 7.3, because although it was an exciting, realistic and fascinating story, it was not emotionally powerful enough to be a true modern war classic.