Film: Black Hawk Down

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Film:

Black Hawk Down

Director: Ridley Scott
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Genres:
Distributor: Sony Pictures

Ridley Scott’s Black Hawk Down conveys the raw, chaotic urgency of ground-force battle in a worst-case scenario. With exacting detail, the film re-creates the American siege of the Somalian city of Mogadishu in October 1993, when a 45-minute mission turned into a 16-hour ordeal of bloody urban warfare. Helicopter-borne U.S. Rangers were assigned to capture key lieutenants of Somali warlord Muhammad Farrah Aidid, but when two Black Hawk choppers were felled by rocket-propelled grenades, the U.S. soldiers were forced to fend for themselves in the battle-torn…

Reviews

Amazon.com

Ridley Scott’s Black Hawk Down conveys the raw, chaotic urgency of ground-force battle in a worst-case scenario. With exacting detail, the film re-creates the American siege of the Somalian city of Mogadishu in October 1993, when a 45-minute mission turned into a 16-hour ordeal of bloody urban warfare. Helicopter-borne U.S. Rangers were assigned to capture key lieutenants of Somali warlord Muhammad Farrah Aidid, but when two Black Hawk choppers were felled by rocket-propelled grenades, the U.S. soldiers were forced to fend for themselves in the battle-torn streets of Mogadishu, attacked from all sides by armed Aidid supporters. Based on author Mark Bowden’s bestselling account of the battle, Scott’s riveting, action-packed film follows a sharp ensemble cast in some of the most authentic battle sequences ever filmed. The loss of 18 soldiers turned American opinion against further involvement in Somalia, but Black Hawk Down makes it clear that the men involved were undeniably heroic. —Jeff Shannon

Barnes and Noble

A gripping dramatization of the abortive 1993 U.S. military operation in Somalia, Africa, that resulted in the Ambush in Mogadishu, Black Hawk Down earns high marks for its hyperrealistic representation of modern-day conventional warfare. Director Ridley Scott re-creates the fateful October 3rd mission in painstaking detail, capturing the horrifying chaos that ensues during armed conflicts on unfamiliar urban battlegrounds. Portraying the U.S. Army Rangers who fought in the streets of Mogadishu, Scott’s talented ensemble cast helps make the events all the more real. Especially strong are Josh Harnett as Staff Sergeant Matt Eversmann and Tom Sizemore as the grizzled veteran Lt. Colonel Danny McKnight. Also superb are Ewan McGregor, Ron Eldard, Jason Isaacs, and Sam Shepard. To his credit, Scott remains politically neutral on America’s role in the Somalian civil war. He doesn’t engage in the moral equivocation so fashionable among some Hollywood directors who’ve depicted failed U.S. military operations; instead, Black Hawk Down focuses on the heroic efforts of American soldiers committed to covering their buddies’ backs and bringing everybody home, dead or alive. Scott’s darting camera and rapid cutting make it occasionally difficult to follow the action, but that’s an intentional choice designed to emphasize the maddening confusion of warfare at close quarters. Sturdily mounted, brilliantly acted, and almost unbearably suspenseful, this powerful film shows the events of a fateful engagement in a new and considerably brighter light. The DVD edition includes a behind-the-scenes featurette, production notes, and an assortment of theatrical trailers. Ed Hulse

Related Works

Album:Black Hawk Down: Original Soundtrack

Black Hawk Down: Original Soundtrack

Hans Zimmer

After the success of Gladiator, it wasn’t unusual to see director Ridley Scott turn to Hans Zimmer again for the score to Black Hawk Down, his fierce adaptation of Mark Bowden’s account of the tragic 1993 American military intervention in Somalia. What was more surprising was the schedule Scott imposed on the German-born composer: 15 days to write, arrange, and record the film’s nearly two hours of music. The results of Zimmer’s miraculous two-week musical campaign not only belie those constraints; they instantly take their place alongside…

Book:Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War

Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War

Mark Bowden

The acclaimed New York Times bestseller Black Hawk Down is “a shocking account of modern warfare . . . gripping and horrifying” (San Francisco Chronicle)

Destined to become a classic of war reporting, Black Hawk Down is Mark Bowden’s brilliant account of the longest sustained firefight involving American troops since the Vietnam War. On October 3rd, 1993, about a hundred elite U.S. soldiers were dropped by helicopter into the teeming market in the heart of Mogadishu, Somalia. Their mission was to abduct two top lieutenants of a Somali warlord and return to base. It was supposed to take an hour. Instead they found themselves pinned down through a long and terrible night fighting against thousands of heavily armed Somalis. The following morning, eighteen Americans were dead and more than seventy had been badly injured. …[more]

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