Posted on 10/17/13 08:46 AM
Maybe I had too high expectations before watching this movie directed by Ridley Scott because of the brilliant films that is usually the result of a distinguished directors attempt at a war film. Such projects brought us films like Apocalypse Now, Platoon, Paths of Glory, Full Metal Jacket and Patton. So maybe high-set standards is the reason that this film felt like such a big disappointment.
The story is based on real events and takes place in Mogadishu, Somalia, during a campaign to capture warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid and other high-ranking leaders of his organisation. The film starts with about half an hour that presents the plot and in which we get familiarized with a couple of the characters. Soon a mission to capture two of Mohamed Farrah Aidid's organisations most high ranking leaders is presented, but the soldiers encounter more resistance than planned when almost all of Mogadishu joins in to fight against them. The beginning of the mission is also the point where I think this film starts to derail, from that point forward the film is almost entirely a collection of battle sequences. I grant that these battle scenes are beautifully shot and incredibly well made, but ultimately this is just a film about soldiers fighting with a seemingly endless supply of bullets, helicopters and an arsenal of tired action clichés. The reason for having a talented actor such as Evan McGregor in this film eludes me since he's not given any chance to apply his talents. I also felt that I didn't get familiar enough with any of the characters to care about them, some might argue that this film doesn't make us care about the individual and instead focuses on all the soldiers as a collective, but I think that is a very mind-numbing approach to take when you're portraying an event such as this, and it turns the film into war just for the sake of the action.