Projections - Movie Reviews

Black Hawk Down

The opening of Black Hawk Down is a quote from Plato: "Only the dead have seen the end of war." and then is followed by a series of images and the U.S. involvement in Somalia in the 1990's.  The story actually begins on October 2, 1993 and we are introduced to the major characters including Staff Sergeant Matt Eversmann (Josh Hartnett) a recently appointed team commander, company Clerk John Grimes (Ewan McGregor) who is now facing a gun instead of a pen, Lt. Col. Dan McKinght (Tom Sizemore) now in charge of a portion of the ground troops, Master Sergeant Paul Howe (William Fichtenr) a Ranger who calls them as he see them and challenges authority when he sees the poorly devised plans, and Maj. General William Garrison (Sam Shepard) who has command over military forces in the region.

It is this group of men that are sent out on what might be called a routine mission were it not for its ill conceived objective.  Due to poor planning and use of resources our team is soon involved in a major fire fight as they attempt to capture the staff and advisors of the regions warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid who controls Mogadishu.  Deeming the elimination of Aidid as the best solution to bring calm to the area and this plan is to do just that.

Encountering well armed and trained resistance the troops are involved not in a capture mission, but a rescue and survival mission due to the downing of two black hawk helicopters.  The story intertwines around the rescue and survival as the group gets split up and all attempts for extraction are quickly eliminated.

Above and beyond the superb story and acting, Black Hawk Down delivers on many other levels.  You will see young men 18 to 25 in situations never intended for those of that age to cope with.  You will realize that our nation is defended by people not old enough to drink in most states, many having voted for the first time in their lives.  You will see young men proving that heroes are a result of facing fear, doing what needs to be done and most importantly honoring their comrades and country.

Director Ridley Scott has provided a quick moving story that will keep you on the edge of your seat, while cinematographer Slavomir Idzaik adds a gritty feel that keeps you involved.  This is a film deserving of being told, deserving of being remembered and deserving of an Oscar.

Please remember that this did happen!  During the 24 hours depicted here, 24 US soldiers gave their lives, another 70 were injured and countless will deal with the horrors witnessed and experienced.  Most importantly, this is a film about courage, honor and combat.  A little piece of history we would all rather forget but must not  - for we would be doomed to repeat it.

Black Hawk Down

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