To begin with, the film was interesting in the way that it didnít particularly ďstarĒ anyone. It simply incorporated a fantastic ensemble cast into a story, while letting the plot itself become bigger than any of the actors in it. Try this on for size: Josh Hartnett, Eric Bana, Tom Sizemore, Ewan McGregor, William Fichtner (one of my personal faves, a very underrated dude), Jason Isaacs (another one), Ron Eldard, Sam Shepard and a bunch more! If this were a sport, weíd be talking all-star team here and yet none of them managed to hog the screen too much and that helped the film in avoiding the usual war movie trap of having one dude save everyone.
BLACK HAWK DOWN is also a pretty awesome technical achievement. With the 2001 Academy Award winner for best editing (Pietro Scalia), the film looks like a million bucks and sweats action. The helicopter scenes are incredible to watch and it's basically non-stop madness from beginning to end, complete with more explosions and more firepower than one of my evenings at Taco Bell. It really looked, sounded and felt as if it was taking place before my very eyes. Some of the stuff looked really neat as well, such as the helicopters barreling down on rooftops and showering them with bullets, Iíve never seen one of these choppers, much less heard it shoot out of the mini-guns, but I can only imagine how intimidating it must be to see these things swooping in toward you. The same goes for the Black Hawks themselves...these things are just amazing. If youíre a fan of war films, action films or just plain "good movies", youíll really have a blast with this one.
As far as the message of the film goes, after an hour and a half of watching these guys shoot at each other, I actually began to wonder what it must have really felt like to be there and be under siege that way for almost 24 hours, watching your friends get shot and shooting at anything with a pulse. All those heroic visions of yourself that you have during childhood quickly transform into thoughts of ďIíd better leave this in their handsĒ. Naturally, I canít speak for the historical accuracy of every part of the story and weíll all understand that some liberty had to be taken in order to turn this into an exciting movie, but for what itís worth, this film can only help but develop appreciation for people who put their lives at stake over and over again for reasons they sometimes donít even understand while we stay home in our sofas watching DVDís.