3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Contrary to criticism, this is an excellent film., July 3 2004
Lt. Col. John Patterson (Val Kilmer) is sent to Tsavo, Africa to build a bridge across a river, thus allowing the British railroad to enter deeper into Africa, bringing civilization and advancement into the Dark Continent. Once Patterson arrives, he is greeted by a situation in which a man-eating lion is harassing the workers and delaying the construction of the bridge. He goes out one night and kills the lion with one shot, winning the confidence of the workers and, therefore, pushing the project ahead of schedule.
Unfortunately, two more man-eating lions begin to make daily harassments on the work camp, killing over 30 men, and eventually halting the construction, in spite of all that Patterson can do.
Enter Charles Remington (Michael Douglas), famous and professional wildlife hunter.
The rest of the drama unfolds as we see how Remington and Patterson deal with the crisis as the death toll reaches over a hundred.
Contrary to many previous reviews on the movie, The Ghost and the Darkness is an excellent film. Brilliant cinematography, breathtaking scenery, and beautiful and robust music are only a part of this great adventure yarn (which is based, stronger than you might think, on the true story). The acting of all the actors, once again contrary to popular criticism, is very good; not "over-the-top" at all. The film has a robust and powerful feel that accurately echoes the ruggedness and strength of Africa and the great men who tried to tame her. The authenticity of the film's props (costumes, weapons, tools, vehicles, etc.) is also impressive. The special effects are perfectly convincing and the lions are real.
The film has a good length (an hour and forty minutes) and never loses its pace or sense of direction. The film is straightforward and, at many moments, downright powerful. The tension is strong and, yes, this film is better than "Jaws" in every way, not to mention more mature than the sharkie movie. And, "The Ghost and the Darkness" is much more than a mere thriller. It is also a historical drama of high caliber.
Warning: If you are a feminist, you will find this movie too "macho". But if you admire the indomitable spirit of the Victorian era's adventurers, you will appreciate the film's strong (and realistically imperfect) characters. And sorry, there are no sugar-cutie boys who run to Angelina Jolie for help and no Super-Chicks who come to save the day (thank goodness).
Well, if you have not seen the movie, rent it and watch it. I would buy it but purchasing it is up to you. I highly, highly, recommend this film.