Black Hawk Down. I went to see Black Hawk Down yesterday afternoon. The film is straight up war — no frills and no apologies. This has garnered three responses from both the press and the public:

  1. High praise for being a war movie that doesn’t gloss things over by following a true hero through battle. It shows war as the nameless, faceless event that it is.

  2. No praise because it doesn’t have any characters to follow and focuses too much on the battle and tacticul manuevers. The movie has no soul.

  3. The movie was well done, but it missed a lot of the important factors surrounding the war. It didn’t discuss any racial or humanitarian issues.

I would side mostly with the first analysis with a touch of the third. The fact is that war is faceless and no one chooses to be a hero. Movies like Saving Private Ryan are glamorizations of war, even if the battles are brutal and realistic. Movies like Apocolypse Now delve into the psyche of the soldier and how the war has affected them. Black Hawk Down and Full Metal Jacket try to capture the futility of war, and I think both are successful. So I wouldn’t say this movie is the war movie, but I think it portrays an important facet of war.

BHD is not going to wow you with a great story and you won’t likely remember anyone’s name, but you’ll better understand why being the global referee isn’t always the best position to have.