Mogadishu, 1993. A group of elite Delta Force operatives and Army Rangers were sent into the most dangerous area of an already hostile city. Their mission was to be a rapid one; raid a meeting underway in the city and detain for questioning a number of highly sought after officials. Shortly after the mission got underway, a near miss on a Black Hawk helicopter caused the loss of one man and the subsequent downing of the chopper began a devastating series of events, ending in a horrific display of violence and the parading of American bodies through the city streets. As the chaos unfolded the world watched, horrified, as the international news media relayed the events around the globe.
Based on the non-fiction book by Mark Bowden (with the screenplay adapted by Ken Nolan), this is the story retold in Black Hawk Down. Directed by Ridley Scott and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, this is a brutal story and it's retold in a graphic way. Ridley Scott has obviously tried his best not to put a jingoistic, Americanised spin on the events and, with a few exceptions, succeeds. Whilst the movie tries hard to be historically accurate, this is no in-depth documentary. Nor does the movie set out to analyse the events that took place over those 24 hours or their probable role in the events that followed it. Instead Scott focuses on the troops themselves. Their conflict is portrayed in a graphic manner. This is no sanitised war movie; soldiers don't merely get shot and fall down dead. Troops are shot, blown in half by rocket fire and many die or are maimed in an explicit fashion as Scott tries to hammer home the true meaning of the 'Horrors of war'.
Whether Scott is completely successful in his portrayal of the attack and its consequences is open to debate, but the movie certainly comes across as being a powerful and moving piece with the, largely top list, cast working together to produce an ensemble piece.
Our Review Ethos