#424/#141 Black Hawk Down
When two black hawk helicopters are downed in Mogadishu, Somalia during a raid to capture an important warlord, US Army Ranger and Delta Force ground teams must defend themselves and the crash sites until help can arrive.
To begin with the score for this movie is fantastic. It’s Hans Zimmer so there’s not surprise there but the soundtrack for this film is up there with Inception, Gladiator and the Last Samurai. It’s one of those soundtracks you can have on in the background while working, with no context, and it’s still a joy to listen to. It’s also a beautifully shot film, giving the bigger set pieces a sense of scale while working equally well on the close ups of the action on the ground.
It’s hard to pick a real front runner from the cast, given that it’s such an ensemble piece, and everyone performs so well. I find it funny thought, that this film feels so American and so ‘woo, Fuck yeah America!’ but you go down the cast and it’s primarily English, Scottish, Irish and Australian actors. Just makes me chuckle.
While the majority of the film is the stuff great action movies are made off, there are two elements I just can’t overlook. Firstly, throughout this picture the theme of ‘leave no man behind’ is ever present but it rings false when they leave a man behind. The epilogue text explains that they got him eventually but for the entire last 40 minutes of the movie all I was asking was ‘when are they going to show us what happened to the captured guy?’ It was distracting.
Secondly, while I understand the need to retrieve their dead from the helicopters, putting a greater number of men at risk to collect the bodies for an entire night seems ridiculous to me. I could even understand it more if the entire body was trapped but it was one pilot’s legs. I’m sure it was a chain of command thing, or a brothers in arms thing, but you would think they’d just cut off and leave the legs if it meant they could get away quicker/protect more men overall. Nothing but respect for the real men that had to fight in this battle but the way the film presents it, it seems like a really stupid decision.
Other than this the rest of the film is great. Some engaging action scenes, some good set pieces and an interesting story make it a cut above a lot of similar American military films. 4/5