Aneesh Chaganty

Movie #283 Black Hawk Down

In Uncategorized on August 23, 2011 at 2:18 AM

Movie #283 Black Hawk Down

(2001, US, d. Ridley Scott)

Rarely has a politically-infused action film felt so enticing and gripping. Perhaps this is because it hides its political point of view among the incredibly choreographed action sequences, something the modern political-action film has to learn a lot from. Black Hawk Down is basically one long fight sequence. We have our set-up: US Army Rangers and Delta Force are preparing a mission into the heart of Mogadishu, Somalia in order to catch a few top and corrupted political advisors. From there, there is no real plot structure. Basically, battle wages. All over Mogadishu, smoke rises, helicopters fall (primarily the one in the title), people die, people explode, people get ripped apart, people become heroes, people become cowards, bombs go off, bazookas are fired, machine guns are thrown across the city, and the Somalian government forces face off against the American ones. Unlike its recent counterparts in Saving Private Ryan and even The Thin Red Line to an extent, Black Hawk Down does a good job of focusing its efforts on the visuals of its story, rather than the politics and harsh views behind it. With a shaky camera, classic Scott-brother colors and editing tricks, and a wonderful cinematographer in Stawomir Idziac, Black Hawk Down is an example of a film that doesn’t need to lecture in order to teach. The violence and the battle says it all. And that, ladies and gentlemen, makes for a fine film.

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