Writer: Ken Nolan (Screenplay) Mark Bowden (Book)
Starring: Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Tom Sizemore, Eric Bana, William Fichtner, Ewen Bremner, Sam Shepard, Gabriel Casseus
Plot: 160 elite U.S. soldiers drop into Somalia to capture two top lieutenants of a renegade warlord and find themselves in a desperate battle with a large force of heavily-armed Somalis.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Hard Hitting Military Movie
Story: Black Hawk Down starts as we learn about why the Americans are in Somalia during the conflict within the country in 1993. We meet the host of different soldiers with different ranks with the main focus on the squad leader Eversmann (Hartnett) on his first mission as leader, with experienced squad leader Hoot (Bana). The mission is simple extract to captured soldiers from the middle of the militant controlled town.
When one of the helicopters is shot down the mission changes and know the soldiers must fight the militants in the city to save as many men as possible.
Thoughts on Black Hawk Down
Characters/Performance – Going through the characters may take a while, it would be fair to say we barely learn anything about our characters outside of this combat, of the main focal ones we have on the day promoted to leader Eversmann who is good and being fair to his men which includes the desk soldiers Grimes who has never been in conflict before. McKnight is the vet that gives the orders from the ground. Hoot has been in conflict many times and takes the similar role to Eversmann as gives the loose advice on how to command a small unit. Sanderson is like the super soldier that runs into conflict knowing it will be the best defence against the enemy. The soldiers do all get their own small stories of the conflict, with Nelson Twombly being one of the most memorable.
Performance wise, we have a cast which plays out like a who’s who of Hollywood starts or stars to be, not a single person gives us a bad performance and each member of the cast could be believable as a soldier through the film.
Story – The story is how one mission turned into a massive conflict for control of the city as the American soldiers must overcome the Somalian militant. This story is more about the action and as always does only show the American’s being the good guys even if they don’t understand the conflict they are walking into, while with that statement I am not saying I side with the Somalian’s either. The story could be considered thin because it does only show one long conflict but that does mean we get the extended look at each member of the unit in their own battle to survive.
History/War – This is one of the many battles America has faced in the 90’s yes, it is only one battle but it shows just how this battle went down in one of the biggest battles of modern warfare.
Settings – The city shows us just how difficult conflict would be for both sides, we see how vantage points could leave soldier exposed but also how difficult it could be to stay safe.
Final Thoughts – if you want to see one of the best modern warfare movies, this is the best conflict showing film out there, it has an amazing cast that would go onto bigger projects in Hollywood too.
Overall: Must watch war movie.