*** Official "TEARS OF THE SUN" Review Thread

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Robert Crawford, Mar 7, 2003.

  1. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator

    Dec 9, 1998
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    This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "Tears of the Sun". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

    Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

    If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.

  2. Bill J

    Bill J Producer

    Oct 27, 2001
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    The theatrical trailer makes Tears of the Sun appear to be a brainless action film. Surprisingly, it is more than that, although it is far from the best war film that I've seen. The premise of Tears of the Sun is very similar to Three Kings: a group of American soldiers whose primary objective has suddenly changed into a search for their humanity and morality.

    Although Tears of the Sun does an admirable job of displaying this concept, Three Kings is a more original, stylish, and profound film. One area where Tears of the Sun lacks is in character development. This is very problematic since it does not attempt to be a documentary-style depiction of warfare, as Black Hawk Down clearly does. The film only centers on Willis and Bellucci, while the rest of the Special-Ops are ignored until the climatic battle.

    The final quarter of Tears of the Sun is a typical, cliched Hollywood action scene. I was initially disappointed by this, but after giving it more thought, I can't think of any other way this film could have ended. As far as the technical aspects go, I was very pleased with the final battle. It was able to maintain intensity while not turning into a needless gore-fest. Tears of the Sun surprisingly does not really contain any real gory shots at all, while most of the violence is implied, but never directly shown.

    Bruce Willis' performance is also noteworthy. He displays a form of subtly that makes him perfect for the role. This could possibly one of his best performances in recent memory.

    Although Tears of the Sun doesn't really cover any new ground, it is the best film I have seen so far this year.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] (out of four)
  3. Steve_Tk

    Steve_Tk Cinematographer

    Apr 30, 2002
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    I'll second the fact that the trailers do no justice to this film. It makes it look like a shoot-em-up bang bang action flick with new age rock music blaring. It was not this.

    I enjoyed the movie very much. As far as a moral standpoint it was very good.

    I disagree with the previous poster on one thing. I get tired of movies giving us sometimes pointless backstory on a minor character so they can get a little reaction from us when his head gets blown off. Showing a quick moment of their personality for the only reason of shock effect. I'm glad that we didn't learn some of those things about these soldiers, because it wouldn't have fit. They didn't have time in the plot to tell about their hobbies or loved ones. I thought it was more powerfull when an unknown soldier drops dead. In some movies, this wouldn't have worked, but I thought it worked well with this one.

    As far as the military stuff seen, it's pretty realistic, which is nice. No rambo one-man-army with unlimited ammunition crap.
  4. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator

    Jun 30, 1999
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    This could have been a disaster of a film, but thankfully, it's not. This film does a good job of showing viewers the necessity of force in times of anarchy and unchecked human impulses with minimal morality on display, and takes us through a harrowing mission to extract on US national from a mission in Africa, and turns into something more complicated and life-affirming. Sometimes it's harder to do the right thing, rather than follow orders and place your well being before others. Honor demands sacrifice.

    The performances are all around good, though, the characterization are a little thin (in terms of motivations), but you will get a sense of empathy following the soldiers trying to do their jobs under extreme and tense circumstances, and will care about their fates as the film draws to its conclusion.

    I give it 3 stars or a grade of B.
  5. Dave_P.

    Dave_P. Supporting Actor

    May 20, 1999
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    I thought it was pretty damn good. Not quite up to Black Hawk Down, but better than a lot of the other recent war flicks that have come about recently.
  6. Arman

    Arman Screenwriter

    Jan 10, 2003
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    You cannot blame anybody who would compare Antoine Fuqua's Tears of The Sun (C+) to Ridley Scott's much superior Black Hawk Down (A+) which stands as one of the most realistic & gripping accounts of military combat ever filmed. Okay, unlike Black Hawk Down which is based on a true story of Army rangers covert operation in Somalia, Tears Of The Sun is about Navy S.E.A.L's rescue mission in a fictitious civil war in Nigeria. But then TOTS opening sequence alone made me somehow immmediately feel uneasy watching it because that scene really reminds me of Black Hawk Down. At that moment I told to myself, "oh boy! TOTS is really a BHD wannabe afterall!" Although TOTS is fictitious, from the get go thru the climatic end, you can predict what will happen in one sequence into another. And unlike the very original, stylish & inventive The Three Kings (A+), cinematically, Fuqua's film has nothing really new to offer neither it gave us anything spectacular that would make us never forget this military combat movie.

    Overall, the entire cast (especially the supporting performers) gave decent performances but I could not stopped myself grinning (or almost laughed) most of the time watching Bruce Willis in some of the film's dramatic & serious scenes. Don't get me wrong I liked (& respected) his performance in The Sixth Sense but in this film I thought he was grinning deep inside in some of the film's key scenes. For the most part of the film, I found Leni Kendrick (Monica Belluci) almost as annoying as Liv Tyler's role in Armageddon.

    I read somewhere that Fuqua initially wanted Tears of The Sun to be a serious movie about African genocide, but was pressured by Bruce Willis to eventually turned this to "a schmaltzy ode to U.S. military involvement that tacitly endorses the impending Iraqi invasion". I guessed that's the reason why as a whole, not only almost everything in this film lacked the intensity that it should have, it also turned as confused as the rescue missions of it's leading characters (Lt. A.K Waters' group & Leni Kendrick's group).

    For now (SPOILER!), I won't tell you what I feel about TOTS finale.
  7. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

    Oct 26, 1998
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    Antoine Fuqua’s Tears Of The Sun is just as preposterous as some of the situations it portrays no matter how well meaning it portends to be. Writers Alex Lasker and Patrick Cirillo both had a solid human-interest story to tell about the plight of certain African citizens in war-torn Nigeria and its ethnic cleansing.

    Unfortunately, big money and a Hollywood mentality to make a motion picture that “entertains” got in the way. The result: a big sellout that turned into one big mess. One can only hope that under a different creative team with an eye towards passionate storytelling about its serious subject matter, the results may have been more credible, enlightening and memorable.


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