Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5. USA, 2001. Revolution Studios, Jerry Bruckheimer Films, Scott Free Productions. Screenplay by Ken Nolan, based on the book by Mark Bowden. Cinematography by Slawomir Idziak. Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, Ridley Scott. Music by Hans Zimmer. Production Design by Arthur Max. Costume Design by David Murphy, Sammy Sheldon. Film Editing by Pietro Scalia. Academy Awards 2001. American Film Institute Awards 2001. National Board of Review Awards 2001. Phoenix Film Critics Awards 2001.
This unapologetically violent war movie achieves something almost impossible for the genre: Ridley Scott’s latest work (one that totally makes up for the same year’s absymal Hannibal) depicts an unflinching, brutal battleground where anything that happens feels completely realistic, but makes sure not to leave fans without frequent glimpses of Scott’s elegant directorial flourishes. Aided by poetic cinematography and excellent editing by Pietro Scalia, Scott ably tells the tale of one terrible October day in 1992 when American troops under the United Nations enter Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, and attempt a probe into the city to capture the country’s corrupt leader. The result is a bloodbath that begins when one Black Hawk (an American helicopter model) is shot down and a rescue of the possible surviving passengers becomes the primary mission of the day. One of the best war movies of the decade.