Tears of the Sun Reviews
"We're already engaged."
Public opinion of military personnel has undergone a dramatic transformation since the 1970s in the days of the Vietnam war, when returning veterans were booed and spat upon. Today it seems you can't attend any public event without some sort of salute to military branches. I don't subscribe to such blanket adulation, lumping cretins such as those at Abu Ghraib in with true selfless servicemen. Even though Tears of the Sun as a work of fiction, it tells a story not far from real-life operations. What defines a hero? I believe a hero is someone who does the right thing even when - ESPECIALLY when - the odds are against them. Bruce Willis is the to-the-point man in charge of a squad of Navy Rangers who goes against orders to evacuate 28 Nigerians under threat from deadly bands of rebel guerillas. The Rangers are given just enough personality that we feel something whenever one of them goes down. I was misled by the bright yellow promotional poster into thinking this took place in the African desert, when in fact the entire journey takes place through tangled green jungle. What I appreciated most about Tears of the Sun is that it portrays bravery without obvious patriotic flag waving or hokey John Wayne inspirational speeches. This team is determined to execute it's task without expectation of fanfare or reward. Just like a hero would do.
The movies main plot line kicks in after 45-50 mins that is way to late for a drama such as this.
Additionally I have toe say that there is never any real tension or excitement to a rather weak and obvious story with very few twists.
The only thing that warrants the score of 6/10 is the acting by Bruce Willis and Monica Bellucci who both deliver solid performances and the cinematography with some great aerial shots of forests and exotic nature.
An experienced director such as Antoine Fuqua should've made more of this story. He knows how to draw attention to his actors and focus on the important plot points. Unfortunately that is not is not enough in this movie with this rather weak plot.
In conclusion we can say that "Tears of the Sun" is a rather weak drama that mostly lives from the good acting and it's even better camera work.