STAY THE FIGHT! STRENGTH, EFFORT, AND DISCIPLINE. THESE ARE THE WATCH WORDS OF A WARRIOR -- Kevin Michael Vance
Title - Kevin Michael Vance - writer/musician/purveyor of raw materials
STAY THE FIGHT! STRENGTH, EFFORT, AND DISCIPLINE. THESE ARE THE WATCH WORDS OF A WARRIOR -- Kevin Michael Vance
STAY THE FIGHT! STRENGTH, EFFORT, AND DISCIPLINE. THESE ARE THE WATCH WORDS OF A WARRIOR -- Kevin Michael Vance

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Kevin Michael Vance
Writer - Portland, Oregon


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Title: TEARS OF THE SUN
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Year: 2003
Reviewed: September 11, 2003

Rating:   Rice Cake-Lowest Rating
[Rating Definitions]

  TEARS OF THE SUN

Somewhere inside this self-righteous, heap of bungled up ideas, shady political meanderings, and loin-wrenching, sanguine shots of hideous reality, there is, quite possibly, a good movie. But it's hard to find it in "Tears of the Sun".

I give "Tears of the Sun" a RICE CAKE RATING.

I wanted to like this movie... honest, I did. I like the idea of a team of elite Navy SEALS, void of humanity and conscience by years of ice-cold killing and tough missions, learning how to be human again by fighting for those that are helpless. But Fuqua and the writers totally blew this one. And I'm a huge fan of "Training Day".

There's no emotional development of any kind for Willis' character, "Lieutenant A. K. Waters". In fact, Fuquia attempts to play any sort of growth through the actors' eyes. This is both forced and asinine seeing as how we see nothing from "Waters" but stern dedication to duty; which might work, if it weren't for the fact that Bruce played him this way through the entire film. We, the audience, doesn't know why he's breaking his own rules and risking his life as well as the lives of his men trying to save people in a war he's not even fighting. There's even a perfect moment in the movie when the character "Red" (played supremely well by Cole Hauser) asks him why the Lt. is doing what he's doing. "Waters" says something like, "When I know, I'll tell ya'." Bad judgment. We don't know these men, and as I said before, I wanted to know these men. We don't know them because Fuquia (more worried with making a political statement on the hideous state of affairs in Africa) doesn't let us know these men; which is really unfortunate. The action is moronic. I don't know any SEALS (all right... okay, I don't know any SEALS, but I do know a Special Forces Lieutenant) who would walk through an open field, into a hail of bullet fire, standing upright. Not very fuckin' realistic. The dialogue is also extremely stunted: just another reason why we never learn about any of these men. "Waters" even goes so far as to tell an indigenous African to, and I quote, "cowboy the fuck up!" How would he, the character, "Arthur Azuka", know what the hell "cowboy up" meant? There's even a rip off from the movie "Gladiator", in the dialogue, "HOLD THE LINE!" Come on boys think of somethin' better.

The only scene of any real importance and impact is the scene where the SEAL team stops a paramilitary group who is slaughtering a defenseless village. But it just doesn't work when one of your scenes in a movie filled with a multitude of scenes is realistic and the rest are not.

Honorable nods however to Monica Bellucci, Sammi Rotibi, and Cole Hauser who pull off outstanding performances in a movie so problematic, even from the beginning.


   



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