2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid action + crisis of conscience for soldiers story
Bruce Willis and his weary, but highly-skilled military go into the Nigerian countryside, during a military coupe/ethnic cleansing, to extract a few missionaries. When they arrive, the female missionary refuses to go unless Willis brings the 70 Nigerian nationals with. Orders are orders, and Willis' team prepares to extract only the woman they have clearance for...
Published on Feb. 14 2004 by TOMMY C ELLIS
3.0 out of 5 stars "I can't look at 'em like packages anymore."
Antoine Fuqua's "Tears of the Sun" is a film that coasts by on star power. Its story is more bare-boned than a turkey after a Thanksgiving dinner but it rises above mediocrity thanks to the presence of Bruce Willis. Without Willis anchoring the proceedings, this film would have quickly become indistinguishable from other entries in the genre.
An American military...
Published on Jan. 10 2004 by Steven Y.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid action + crisis of conscience for soldiers story,
This review is from: Tears of the Sun (VHS Tape)
Bruce Willis and his weary, but highly-skilled military go into the Nigerian countryside, during a military coupe/ethnic cleansing, to extract a few missionaries. When they arrive, the female missionary refuses to go unless Willis brings the 70 Nigerian nationals with. Orders are orders, and Willis' team prepares to extract only the woman they have clearance for. However...the horrors of seeing the bloodbath, and the reality of what will happen if Willis obeys his orders overwhelms him, and he chooses another course. What follows is a chase through the countryside that becomes unexpectedly intense. People die, and a few of the nationals are not who they seem to be (for good and evil).
Tears of the Sun (a clever title by the way) has strong, bloody action. It moves quickly, and logically. There are a few surprises, but, in the end this is a straight-forward production. The "crisis of conscience" so many reviewers have mentioned actually gets resolved fairly quickly, and as one would expect of a Hollywood production. The action is realistic, and does not glorify the necessary violence--a plus! Willis' brooding is key in this aspect.
Bottom-line: Tears of the Sun is a solid action movie, with just enough personal conflict to give it reasonable depth. The Nigerian characters are treated with dignity, and the story ends on a somber, yet optimistic note. I just kept sensing that something was missing. I kept waiting. Was Willis carrying some dark secret about a past mission gone bad? Was the missionary lady somehow involved in the country's politics? (After all, why send a team of highly-skilled soliders to extract one civilian missionary?) Was the U.S. government somehow implicated? Most of those questions went unanswered. A movie that hinted at having almost documentary-type intentions ended up simply a solid action movie + some crisis of conscience stuff that soldiers who see action often go through. Good, strong material--but not *****.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars underrated Willis movie,
This review is from: Tears of the Sun / Les Larmes du soleil (Bilingual) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Yes Bruce plays yet another " soldier / cop " but this movie is more than about just
him ( although he does step it up - you believe he IS this guy ).
The story may seem cliche but the writing , directing , cinemetography definitely bring
it up to being a tense and heartbreaking movie with people you genuinely believe in
and want to see come out of their harrowing escape alive.
Some scenes are hard to watch - some are definitely not for the squeamish - but in the end
it is a very satisfying action movie with a heart at it's core. It may not happen in real life
all the time but you have to wish American soldiers in this predicament would act this way all the time.
I do - and I'm not American.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burk,
This review is from: Tears of the Sun [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Nigeria is being taken over and the royal family is dispatched. Still a few Americans are left to be extracted. We are so used to this happening on a regular basis that we forget or will never know what it is like. Lieutenant A.K. Waters (Bruce Willis) is tasked with extracting Dr. Lena Fiore Kendricks (Monica Bellucci) but she will not leave without 40 injured patients. We know what is going to happen; however the story is on how it plays out.
If you buy the DVD do not over look the two voice over commentaries as they add to the experience. Then watch the film again and see what you missed.
As a rule I usually avoid this kind of movie as we know the end and the travel time thought the story is mostly blood and guts; in this film it is verging on gratuitous. Of course with a few exceptions this is a Bruce Willis signature. To its credit the background music was not the standard shoot-em-up.
4.0 out of 5 stars "God already left Africa",
This review is from: Tears of the Sun (Special Edition) (Bilingual) (DVD)
A quip from Bruce Willis' character Lt.Waters as he leaves a missionary run by a French priest and his wife.Africa,often referred to as the "dark" continent,while not literally true,certainly is so figuratively speaking.It has seen so much unrest and brutal bloodshed over the past untold decades with rebels fighting governments,tribes fighting tribes and warfare on a genocidal scale.Tears of the Sun(released Mar/03),produced by Bruce Willis' own company,lifts back a small curtain and gives us a look into this world.
The plot involves Lt Waters and his small squad of Navy seals aboard an aircraft carrier,"somewhere off the coast of Africa".They have just come back from a mission and must turn around,within about three hours,and mount a rescue operation to a French mission to retrieve the missionary,his wife,an assistant and a doctor working there.They arrive at their destination in Nigeria,and the area is full of refugees;some who can walk and others who can't.The missionary,his wife and assistant won't leave.The only one Waters can talk into leaving is the doctor,who in turn,will not go if her patients cannot do so.The refugees are NOT part of Waters assignment but he relents and anyone that is mobile is allowed to accompany the Seals to the evac zone.
They arrive and the choppers are on the ground awaiting their cargo.Waters then reveals he lied to get the good doctor to the zone and says he must leave the rest behind.They lift off but as they pass over the mission all aboard become witness to the full scale atrocities committed there.Waters orders the choppers turned around and they return to the evac zone.They get as many aboard the chopper as they can and Waters decides to escort the remainder across the boarder to Cameroon.Waters is definitely conflicted as he says this is the first time he has ever done the "right thing";at least he hopes it is.His commanding officer aboard the carrier orders him to stop what he is doing but Waters in all conscience can't.And as events unfold it becomes clear his decision definitely was the right thing to do.
Behind the party and dogging them all the way are Nigerian rebel forces.As they are within about 30 Klicks of the Cameroon border they come upon an ethnic cleansing in a remote village in progress.Waters orders were not to engage the enemy unless forced to but again Waters cannot stand by and watch this unfold.His team enters the village and takes out the rebels there.This side operation has taken precious time away from their schedule and it soon seems that the rebels that follow the party have some inside help in tracking them as they get within about an hour of them.It turns out one of them had a tracking device on them.It also turns out the rebels have another reason to dog the party.The reigning leader of the country,now killed,sent his only son(and now tribal king)to the missionary and he is also among those fleeing.It now gives Waters and his squad that much more impetus to reach safety.
The soldiers have a running/retreating battle with the rebels and as they are within a stones throw of the border the rebels give their final push to destroy the Navy team and their charges.In the end the squad is reduced to half its strength with many of the refugees dead.However the doctor and the future king do make it to the border as the Navy sends in a pair of birds to take out the attacking rebels with some napalm rockets.The film ends as the future king is surrounded by his future subjects promising freedom to his people.
Tautly directed and edited,with high score all around in the acting department,this film has rarely if any a dull moment as the characters flee for their lives.The horrors of African warfare,or just senseless warfare anywhere,is amply illustrated throughout.Touches like one soldier finding out a rebel dying in his arms is just a kid,or a woman who died after being brutally raped and had her breasts cut off,are poignant touches indeed and drive the movies on going theme home in spades.It certainly raises this film above its basic premise of being a military rescue op.
Technically speaking the film has been transferred into its`widescreen a/r of 2:40:1 and is clear and crisp.Extras include deleted scenes,commentary,a making of featurette,an interactive map of Nigeria and more.
All in all a highly recommended piece of film making by Willis and company.I give it a solid four stars.
4.0 out of 5 stars ACTUALLY GOOD,
I'am going to be honest, the only reason I watched this is because the director was the director from TRAINING DAY. I was surprised to see Bruce Willis doing such a good job. Don't get me wrong he is great in others but he also isn't in others. The casting for this film was pretty good, every one was real belivable. Antonie Fuqua did a good job directing it, and Alex Lasker & Patrick Cirillo wrote a good script. But the thing that made this film so good was that it was very bloody, and was also so depressing to see these people in the villiges being tortured and killed. Why is that good you ask, well it's because that is what really happens. The harsh reality of it is that those things really happen, in fact it's probably happing right now. All the extras in this film were crying on set because it brought back memories. On a better note the setting in Hawai was a great choice for location, it looks like the real places in Africa. Also on another note Joe Roth Executive Produced this, you might know him very well from works with Billy Crystal
5.0 out of 5 stars A War Worth Fighting,
First, the DVD appears to be an excellent transfer--gorgeous colors and photography and good sound really show off a home theater system. The extra features are excellent and explain the purpose behind the movie.
Second, this is a great story with first rate direction. It is patently an action movie that "cares" about people, and does a very good job of explaining why. The director does a great job of doing this by creating characters we care about in an intriguing plot, and avoids preachiness. I thought this was a great performance by all the actors, especially Bruce Willis whose character is laconic but nonetheless conveys the conflict raging between obedience to orders and a moral imperative to protect the helpless. Finally, I would advise that this movie depicts brutality and violence with frankness, and it is also suspenseful so I would not recommend this as "mere entertainment". To call this an action movie, while technically correct, denigrates the great emotional stakes this movie plays for.
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 1/2 Stars. One of the best SOF movies ever.,
By A Customer
This movie was far underated by critics and even some fans.
This is military themed movie making at it's best. (Along with
Black Hawk Down, Saving Private Ryan, and few others)
Thankfully, real SEALS served as technical advisors for the film.
While this is still Hollywood and things can't be exactly accurate, it is technically superior to most warfare films. The weapons are right(notice the point man carries a shotgun in the dense jungle), tactics are good(the team peels off and covers each other, fire short bursts,not spray and pray, etc.)
The military speak is accurate and the SEALS actually look and act like Spec Warriors.
The entire cast is great and the direction is first-rate. I recommend watching with director's commentary on for a second viewing. While very violent at times, it's necessary to show the struggle of the refugees and people of modern Africa. This is not a standard straight forward action film but, rather a film about redemption and doing the right thing even if it means the loss of your own life.
4.0 out of 5 stars Great War Movie for Both Men and Women,
This is a war movie. It reminded me, in ways of some of the war movies of Vietnam, such as Casualties of War, except that it was far less violent. Rapes are hinted at, but not graphically shown. I was pleased not to be overwhelmed with bad language, as some films do. People are brutally killed, but not every graphic detail is shown. I thought it was appropriate in what it showed. A good war movie, but not out to super-shock the audience. This movie tries instead to entertain, and succeeds well. Both my husband and I really enjoyed the acting by Bruce Willis. The movie has plenty of action, but doesn't overdo it, concentrating on the drama of trying to rescue doctors and missionaries from a clinic. Instead, the main doctor won't leave without all her patients coming along. Bruce Willis tricks her by telling her they will take the patients, only to grab her, and leave the patients behind. He then changes his mind, against his commander's will, and he and his team are then on their own to try to walk everyone through the jungle to safety, showing all of their numerous difficulties along the way.
4.0 out of 5 stars A morality tale soaked in blood and tears,
Suggestion: watch the 'making of' with the director's comments first and then watch the movie. You'll see that the director (fuqua- from training day) was aiming (no pun intended) for: it's considerably more than just an action movie.
This movie is a sad indictment of the savagery and genocide that afflicts Africa and the extremes that some of these power hungry lunatics go. This is extreme terror close up for some of the people, especially in this little corner of Nigeria.
A lot of poeple heard muslim in the movie's premise (since Nigeria's official religion is Islam- it's funny how islam has been perverted from a religion of peace and tolerance and equality from it's inception to what it is today in some places of the world...) and thought 'ah a rah-rah shoot-em up with revenge and muslim butt kicking in the mind'. But that doesn't wash- not even close (makes me wonder if the people who said that even understood what they were watching?? Or simple just transfering their prejudices and desires onto the movie and then trying to disavow them by denigrating the movie). Nor does it glorify the american military and cast it as the global policeman. That is such a simplistic analysis. Watch the bit in the clearing when the helicopters land and then leave and you'll see what I mean about the US military NOT being the unabashed, unreserved saviours of the good and the right. They do job they are told (very well!).
Willis, in hard faced mode- playing the role to perfection- contrary to orders, makes 'the mistake of starting to give a f--k' as his character puts it. And rather than leave a bunch of helpless civilians from a mission to the rebels chasing them, decides to escore them into nearby Cameroon primarily because the american civilian he and his navy seals are there to extarct refuses to go without them. And this is the crux of the movie: the chase (if the simplisitic viewpoint is to be accepted, then the Seals would stand and fight and kill all the badg uys and all live happily every after, basking in their glory as victors- whihc certainly doesn't happen...not even close)
There are times in the movie when you will wonder how so called human beings can do the things to each other that you are shown and are infered by what remains (this movie doesn't pull too many punches). The segement in the village is really, really tragic and grim and has zero glorification of violence and heroism, other than doing what needs to be done. Because doing nothing is complicity of the worst kind. Willis' character and his men aren't 'americans' or 'heroes' when they do what they do...rather just humans protecting humanity. Those who called this movie some sort of glorification of all things American: freedom, justice, liberty, etc. missed the point. This movie is about humans and those who aren't. And the fact that sometimes you have to make a stand, regardless of who you are or where you're from. There are no nationalities this close to the sharp end of ethinic cleansing, genocide and rape. The affront is just too great for that.
I personally thought this was an excellent movie. The only downside: speachifying at the end got a bit nauseating, and detracts from the movie to some extent (-1 star). As does the actions of Tom Skeritt's character in the finale (just a bit too schmaltzy for my liking). Otherwise, this is a very good movie. There is no artistic posturing like The Thin Red Line, nor is it pure war like Saving Private Ryan, or confused mayhem like Black Hawk Down. Rather a fairly linear chase through the darkest side of humanity with a significant body count (nobody is spared), times of extreme violence and war, where nobody escapes unscathed and unchanged, if they escape at all. There are some extremely powerful moments in this movie: my favorite (no, that isn't the word), the most moving: the old man weeping outside the village.
Excellent cast featuring Willis and Monica Bellucci (Persephone from the Matrix reloaded, revolutions) with the sultry eyes and sexy voice. And good supporting cast- the africans were played by refugees from the Sudan (another nightmare).
ALl in all, a well made movie, a good story and a disturbing study of man's inhumanity to people, all in the name of greed and ideology, religion and powerlust. There is no glory. No flag waving. Plenty of heroism that is understated, but the tacit acceptance of this heroism by the SEALS is not played upon either. They simply do their job. This isn't 'die hard in the jungle'. This is far too much of a waking nightmare for that. This movie is about sacrifice, peril, loss, suffering and hope.
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth seeing...,
Enjoyable action film...yes there's violence and gore; yes, it portrays the poor, misunderstood rebels without trying to understand them or blame the US for their desire to "kill everyone who doesn't go to the same church." And yes, there are a few things, factually, tactically, as well as plot-wise, that might been done differently or a bit better. But come on! It is fiction! It's an action-adventure flick, not a documentary or a military training film! So relax, and enjoy, the performances are decent; my husband enjoyed seeing Monica Bellucci's breasts bouncing around almost out of her shirt (hey, if you got 'em, flaunt 'em), and I have gained a whole new appreciation for mohawk haircuts! And for those who haven't figured it out yet...there ARE bad guys in the world who hate us and don't care if we understand them or not, there is STILL inter-tribal and ethnic violence occurring in Africa and elsewhere where they DO BAD THINGS TO EACH OTHER. Just ask the "Lost Boys!" Sometimes you just have to decide which side you are going to be on....thank God we have REAL Spec Ops guys that do go out there and take care of business, messy as it may be.
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Tears of the Sun / Les Larmes du soleil (Bilingual) [Blu-ray] by Antoine Fuqua (Blu-ray - 2006)
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