Tears of the Sun Reviews
Things get complicated when this doctor refuses to leave without many of the nearby Nigerian civilians she's been treating. Against his orders, Willis agrees, and soon after, he and his team become pursued by the Rebels as this doctor seems to be more important to them than anyone could have realized.
Genocide is a horrible thing. Even more horrible is how so much of the world watches in dismay, yet does not lift a finger to help save these people. Wars between African tribes seem to always end in mass genocide, and this script means to put these American soldiers into a situation where they are forced to look face to face at the human cost they will have to bear by leaving the innocent Nigerians to fend for themselves. For the first half of the film, the violence is kept at a minimal, and we get to know all the soldiers in the platoon, as well as many of the innocents that are being led to safety.
Of course, this being a studio film, the second half of the film dissolves into an action packed firefight between the American soldiers and the African Rebels. Fuqua isn't the strongest action director either, and many of these scenes lack real excitement. Amidst these war sequences, the film pauses to focus on how grateful these civilians are that these soldiers are there for them and that God will bless them. There's nothing particularly wrong with including one or even two such scenes, but there are too many to count, and the "Ra Ra" undertones become a little too obvious for my tastes. And because the film starts off as a darker, more intellectual narrative, it's disappointing that the filmmakers opted for a typical action movie showdown as opposed to a proper and much more daring follow through.
Saw it again after a long time without seeing it, I really didn't remember exactly what was it about but seeing it again was great and it refresh my mind. Truly great performances by Bruce Willis and Monica Bellucci. Fantastic story and truly eye soaring. Recommended to watch by all who like war or battle films.
Navy SEAL Lieutenant A.K. Waters and his elite squadron of tactical specialists are forced to choose between their duty and their humanity, between following orders by ignoring the conflict that surrounds them, or finding the courage to follow their conscience and protect a group of innocent refugees. When the democratic government of Nigeria collapses and the country is taken over by a ruthless military dictator, Waters, a fiercely loyal and hardened veteran is dispatched on a routine mission to retrieve a Doctors Without Borders physician, Dr. Lena Kendricks. Dr. Kendricks, an American citizen by marriage, is tending to the victims of the ongoing civil war at a Catholic mission in a remote village. When Waters arrives, however, Dr. Kendricks refuses to leave unless he promises to help deliver the villagers to political asylum at the nearby border. If they are left behind, they will be at the mercy of the enormous rebel army. Waters is under strict orders from his commanding officer Captain Bill Rhodes to remain disengaged from the conflict. But as he and his men witness the brutality of the rebels first-hand, they are won over to Dr. Kendricks' cause and place their lives at risk by agreeing to escort the villagers on a perilous trek through the dense jungle. As they move through the countryside on foot, Waters' team, experts at evasion and concealment, are inexplicably and ferociously pursued by an army of rebels. They are confounded until they discover that, among the refugees, is the sole survivor of the country's previous ruling family, whom the rebels have been ordered to eliminate at all costs. Waters and his small band of soldiers must weigh the life of one man against their own and the refugees they feel obliged to protect.
This movie reminded me a little of Navy SEALs, though grittier and more believable. Willis is his usual mostly expressionless self here, yet somehow he manages to get the part of the troubled Lieutenant across very well indeed.
Monica Bellucci is an incredibly gifted actress and she really believed in this project. Her character comes across as having strong religious and moral convictions, prepared to die to help and protect others.
The director, Antoine Fuqua, brings a strong moral theme to his characters and the story. The whole visual manner of filming, camera angels, close ups etc adds to the intensity here.
The choice of filter during filming, that gives a subdued and darker feeling visually, was perfect. The use of Africans as extras was an interesting and a suitable choice, given their backgrounds. Many of these extras were showing genuine emotions which was captured on camera, as they relived traumatic moments in their lives when certain scenes were filmed.
You can almost feel the humidity and smell the blood in this film, the location work is topps and really makes this film look excellent, the cast are all geared up and look correct down to the smallest detail, including the African militants, and the plot although nothing too original does pull at the heart strings as things progress. The only thing I can say about this is Monica Bellucci is really rather annoying in her role, she plays the doctor the SEALS are trying to escort to safety but the whole time she is reluctant and uncooperative to her saviors. Now sure this is the plot and sure a doctor looking after people for so long would be unwilling to leave them behind but at the end of the day everyone gets killed basically because she is so uncooperative haha I really wanted her to get shot haha.
Still its a damn good special elite unit film with a terrific end sequence and fantastic realism, think 'Blood Diamond' and your on the right tracks but not quite as violent. When Willis doesn't show off he can be a good actor but his support are top notch too.
- Ringside seats to an ethnic cleansing."
'Tears of the Sun' is a typical search and rescue film that suddenly gets too much of heart. By this the film delivers some dramatic images that may seem a bit tough to look at.
"It's been so long since I've done a good thing... a right thing."
The actors all do a decent job, typical roles for a film of this genre with some melodramatic performances. None of 'em stand out but what I noticed was that Bruce Willis, whom I've respected since I saw him in 'Moonlighting', felt a bit out of focus. Not the typical Willis I'm used to. I presume that one reason could be the fact that he had recently divorced Demi Moore and was living a 'live free or die hard' phase of his life, when he was, and I quote Mac from one of my favourite TV shows 'It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia', banging these hot young girls, changing them constantly like socks.
"All right, lieutenant Waters. I'm all yours."
After Monica Bellucci's character, Dr Hendricks, said these words that I've quoted above, I was immediately distracted from the movie, just for a couple of seconds. I've had this secret crush on Monica for years. I guess it's not secret anymore but damn! And when she starts to shout in italian when she's upset... I'm sold.
The action is solid but the tactics or solutions that they do on their mission does not feel logical and result in a silly outcome. For an example the big final battle in the jungle where SEAL members start to drop. Why did rugged soldiers all of a sudden get noble thoughts and choose to take risks that would put in danger themselves and the civilians that they try to rescue?
What was the purpose for this movie? To show us brutal images of mutilated bodies and by this understand the brutality of war or genocide? 'Tears of the Sun' does not stand out from the genre that has not renewed for years. It doesn't have anything special in it for it to deserve several viewings.
This film is not only a war film. It is something else. It tries to show audiences the horrors of civil unrest and ethnic cleansing but sadly they tried too hard to get it across that the quality of the film suffered. Bruce Willis in his battle hardened bad-ass Marine mode is effective. I mean, he's so used to playing roles like that anyway so I'm sure he didn't have a problem adjusting and such.
Feisty Italian stunner Monica Bellucci was quite annoying at time with that disgruntled accent of hers top to that the stupid things her character does in the film. She was really hot though I'll give her that.
The one scene that annoyed the most is the part where this guy with the under developed mohawk got hit by a sniper and then the rest of his team starts shooting at the trees on the other side. They were in a vertical tactical position and they're advancing towards the unseen enemy and they're shooting at nothing. To be honest, they looked like a bunch of retards. And they call themselves Special Ops. What the hell.
Tears of the Sun is an average war film with a message. They tried to get the message across so hard that the quality of the film suffered.
The twist was pretty, ok I guess. I liked the infiltration scenes and the brutal scenes, but somewhere near the end I started laughing, cuz of the erm.. fireworks and how the lights went off from the guns.
Its good, but... oh well.. Ill let you decide what to think of it.
Against the backdrop of the magnificent African landscape, Tears of the Sun is an honest effort to be more than an average Hollywood war movie.
There is nothing exceptional about the story line which, based on a rescue mission mixed with the usual ingredients of betrayal and political intrigue, looks very much like a good old Panzer Blitz board game scenario, in which the victory condition is to make it to home base with your rescue while sustaining minimum casualty.
The battle scens are above average, particularly the first one. Infuriated by the senseless cruelty he has witnessed, Lieutenant A.K. Waters (Bruce Willis)ignors the rules of engagement given to him and, declaring that "we are already engaged", leads an assault on the bloodthirsty enemy. This series is filmed with striking clarity. Unlike in many other battle scenes, the audience, instead of getting lost, are able to follow every signal, every move and every shot of Waters and his soldiers.
Tears of the Sun, however, is first and foremost not a war movie, although towards the end, it gives sufficient footage to action to probably satisfy an average audience's expectation. More interesting to watch, however, is the evolution of the two persona: unflinchingly professional soldier and compassionate woman doctor.
Of the latter, there is not much evolution to speak of and therefore not much room to maneuver, in the acting department. Monica Bellucci, under the circumstances, gave a creditable performance. A little distracting perhaps is her beauty which, although a far cry from her capitulating radiance in Brotherhood of the Wolf, is nevertheless not totally suppressible even under the stress of war.
As everyone knows I'm a big Bruce Willis fan. Tears of the Sun gives him scope beyond falling into the cliche of a stereotyped tough-guy who suddenly, inexplicably finds her heart. It does start a little bit like that as Willis, professional soldier to his bones, goes to the extent of tricking the entire group of refugees into trekking all the way to the pick-up point, just to be abandoned when his mission of rescuing the doctor is accomplished.
But he changes, and the question is what has caused this change. The simple answer obviously is his witnessing from the helicopter the vicious slaughter in the village from which he has just rescued the doctor. But this would be too simple. Confronted by his comrades, his answer to the question is "I'll tell you when I've figured it out". This is not evasion. We do not always understand the rationale behind everything we do, every decision we make.
Then come the climax. A treachery is exposed but the pursuing army is closing in. We have another very familiar scenes, of "are-you-with-me-boys". The audience will notice in this scene an uncharacteristic lack of heroism. There is nothing particularly heroic above developing a certain bond with a group of strangers after spending a few days with them, even in normal daily situations: a training course, a group tour, for example. Here, the script has given a lot of attention to what the soldiers share with the refugees during their flight, and the atrocity they witness together. As a result, their solidarity in standing firm in the face of the crisis is totally believable.
Under Willis' portrayal, Lieutenant Waters is uncharacteristic soft spoken. Also, there is neither explosive outburst nor hysterical breakdown, both of which are quite appealing for the sake of dramatization. What we see here is a man whose professional training hold up. In addition, we also see behind the soldier persona a soft-spoken man who has moments of weakness, who can become quite dejected, a believable human being.
Tears of the Sun is an honest effort to show, within the framework of a Hollywood war movie, the positive side of human nature. Hopefully, under the current environment of a war that the world does not want, this well-intentioned film itself won't becomes a victim of being sterotyped as Hollywood propaganda as time goes on.
if you are a lover of war films and you really enjoy war films then you WILL LOVE this film it is excellent its moving and very exciting and action packed.
made me cry lovely film