Part of reviewing films is understanding that every movie is not the same, what makes a great movie in one genre could be terrible in another. When it comes to combat movies, specifically war related, Black Hawk Down stands out and yes, it stands the test of time.
Action, action and more action. When you watch a war movie you have to understand the historical context, the characters, the plot and yes the violent chaotic action. For about 80% of the film, the audience experiences unadulterated violence! Blood, gore, gun shots, bombs, crashes, limbs, bullet holes, tanks, ammunition, gun battles, and yes helicopters falling down from the sky after an RPG hit. Basically a Call of Duty Warzone type of movie. It was beautiful.
One of the major issues with this movie is that it tries to have a “moral” stance with the performance from Josh Harnette as SSG Matt Eversmann and George Harris as Osman Atto. This was unexpected and unnecessary for a movie about an intense close combat situation. Why create a movie with non stop violence and warfare yet try to have a moralistic high ground? No, stick to what works don’t overdo it! As an African some of the portrayals of Somali people was annoying, why? Because most of the Somali actors did not look Somali and seemed like a background to the plot, it would have been better to involve Somali actors/actresses.
The Final Take
For a film that came out 20 years ago, Black Hawk Down stands out because it knows what it is. Much like Mortal Kombat and I Care A Lot, it is unapologetic about the direction it is going. It is a fun roller coaster that offers some historical perspectives that most North American audiences will find refreshing.