Josh Hartnett, William Fichtner, Ewan McGregor, Jeremy Piven, Sam Shepard, Tom Sizemore, and Eric Bana star in Black Hawk Down, the rigorous tale of the Battle of Mogadishu which took place October 3, 1993. Directed by Ridley Scott, this precarious story is based on the best seller, "Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War."
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Most of the movie is set in a warlike theme. Delta units and American Rangers are dropped by helicopter in Somalia, to capture two major warlords. Upon descending into the dense forest, the units are attacked by Somalian forces. Although they are much smarter than these forces, the Americans are quite confused as to who actual militia men are, and who blameless civilians are. During all the commotion an American Black Hawk helicopter crashes. The American soldiers have always carried a simply said, but vigorous creed stating "Leave no man behind."
The dedication of these soldiers is shown as they fly their helicopters in to "rescue" fallen soldiers to take them home to their families. However, this attempt causes another helicopter to be shot down. In one scene, a soldier is shown dangling from the helicopter right before it is shot down. After the helicopter crashes, the Somalians recover the bodies, and beat them, right before dragging them around, parading such death. As horrid as it may be, the death of the soldiers was real and quickly depicted in Black Hawk Down.
Black Hawk Down does not really portray how we, the Americans, were involved in such a war. However, what this movie does portray is the ugliness of war, and the death that goes with it. "Only the dead have seen the end of war," a quote from Plato, opens the movie, and really presents the viewer with a precise foreshadowing of what Black Hawk Down will be like. The stage is definitely set for the piercing words of the wounded soldiers, and the disturbingly brutal revulsions of war itself.
Much of the gore in the movie was alike in that of Saving Private Ryan. Bodies were blown in half, and surgeons operated on soldiers without anesthesia behind enemy lines. Also, many weapons were used in the movie. Automatic rifles, grenades, rockets, and handguns were very common defense methods. Therefore, the movie was respectfully rated "R."
However true the depictions in Black Hawk Down are really accurate with what happened on October 3, 1993, one thing is true: The viewer is desensitized and will definitely look at war on a slightly different level, much like I have. I have always seen brutality in war-like movies, but Black Hawk Down did something a bit different. I am not sure what it is, but it sure made me watch it again and again.