Tears of the Sun

2003

Action / Drama / Thriller / War

24
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 33%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 69%
IMDb Rating 6.6 10 102978

Synopsis


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July 30, 2018 at 10:36 AM

Director

Cast

Monica Bellucci as Dr. Lena Fiore Kendricks
Bruce Willis as Lieutenant A.K. Waters
Peter Mensah as Terwase
Tom Skerritt as Captain Bill Rhodes
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.03 GB
1280*534
English
NR
23.976 fps
2hr 1 min
P/S 41 / 241
1.96 GB
1920*800
English
NR
23.976 fps
2hr 1 min
P/S 45 / 172

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by rbverhoef 6 / 10

Outstanding middle part surrounded by Hollywood clichés

'Tears of the Sun' is a movie with a message and an interesting first hour, but contains too many Hollywood clichés to really be something. We start with Lieutenant Waters (Bruce Willis) and his team of SEALS who have to rescue Dr. Lena Kendricks (Monica Bellucci), a priest and two nuns from a missionary post in Nigeria where murdering rebels are about to arrive. The priest and the nuns want to stay, Kendricks only wants to come if the Nigerian refugees can come too. Waters agrees only to leave them behind as soon as Kendricks is on the helicopter. Then, from the helicopter, he witnesses the result of rebels passing by and in an instant he disobeys his orders and turns the helicopter around.

This is the point where the best part of the movie begins. Waters and his team are on their own now, leading the refugees to the border of Cameroon. The way his team not always agrees with his decisions but how they are loyal anyway is one of the interesting things here. Another is the way the movie dares to show the rebels and their actions, things we see parts of on the news in places like Liberia and Sudan. It gives us an impression how hopeless the situation is in some parts of Africa. The distraction here comes from Kendricks who is an obvious Hollywood plot device. She is the possible love interest, or at least the needed female character, and she must annoy Waters by constantly suggesting things that even to her must sound stupid when followed by a lot of rebels. Never mind.

Then the third act starts and the movie fails to deliver what it kind of promised before. Instead of following the dramatic path it changes into the kind of action film Hollywood likes to produce. A lot of gunfire, explosions and bodies flying through the air. That's too bad since an earlier action sequence was able to show both the horrific actions of the rebels and the trained and nuanced way of SEALS dealing with a situation. During that sequence I felt a director (Antoine Fuqua) doing his job the right way, making the movie very intense. He did the same thing for the excellent 'Training Day' from the year before. His third act of 'Tears of the Sun' was sort of like an introduction to his real Hollywood adventure, 'King Arthur'.

Reviewed by cooperaitaliano 9 / 10

A very powerful and authentic film with a strong moral theme

This film was simply incredible. I didn't see it at the cinema, which upon seeing it later on DVD release, regretting missing first time round.

It made some incredibly powerful statements and was very difficult to watch. I rarely admit to this, but I actually found parts of it so moving, that I cried! And I never cry.

The choice of Bruce Willis was a good one and he plays a deeply conflicted character, he plays him with depth. I have seen Monica Belucci in films before. She is an incredibly gifted actress and she really believed in this project. Her character comes across as having strong religious and moral convictions, prepared to die to help and protect others. This comes across in the decisions she takes and the willingness to stand strong under pressure.

Having seen the Documentary on the special features section of the DVD afterwards, I could see the incredible lengths that everyone attached to the filming went to. Each of the actors playing Seal Team members, went through some very authentic training in preparation and stayed in character outside of filming during the day. Given the commitment of all those attached to the film, I can see why the film is what it is.

The director, Antoine Fuqua, from the films I have seen in which he directed, brings a strong moral theme to his characters and the story. The whole visual manner of filming, camera angles, close ups etc adds to the intensity here.

The choice of filter during filming, that gives a subdued and darker feeling visually, was perfect. The use of Africans as extras was an interesting and a suitable choice, given their backgrounds. Many of these extras were showing genuine emotions which was captured on camera, as they relived traumatic moments in their lives when certain scenes were filmed.

On that note, one scene in particular made for very difficult viewing, but totally in context and I would expect it would provoke a strong reaction from viewers, for good reason. The actual combat scenes are kept selectively short and in context to the overall film. They are also very realistic.

The soundtrack was well suited and complimented the whole overall feel to the film. I would not say that this film was entertaining, it is very hard to watch but it is an example of good film that will challenge everyone who watches it and who has a conscience.

After seeing this film, as with Hotel Rwanda and Tears of the Sun, I am constantly reminded of our individual and collective moral responsibilities in the 'civilised Western World' when atrocities are committed. And it sits badly with my conscience that 'we' in the West do so little and so late in trying to stop such genocide from happening. I for one think that every adult should see it.

Reviewed by pdt1978 8 / 10

Doing the right thing without a Stars and Stripes to be seen

While it's far from classical film making I was quite surprised by how good I found this movie. My partner and I have both spent some time working in Africa and she has a special interest in human rights and humanitarian intervention. When we saw the preview for this movie we both let out audible groans and eyes were rolled aplenty: America saves everyone...again. The movie was immediately consigned to the "I wouldn't watch that if you paid me bin..." but we did watch it and we quite enjoyed it.

Aside from the slightly too sexual relationship between Willis and the doctor (they almost kiss - simply no need) the movie runs along pretty well and was by turns very tense, exciting and fairly moving.

Most importantly I felt it provided a thought provoking picture of what ethnic cleansing might really be like, something that film makers hesitate to explore. War time atrocities are one of those things that we all have a fair idea about but that are rarely portrayed. This movie did a VERY good job of describing awful atrocities without being overly gory or, worse, sensationalist and the use of humiliation and subordination as a weapon was subtly demonstrated.

Technical aspects aside the soldiers were convincingly concerned about the refugees without overt "We're all such goddamn heroes, aren't we?" posturing. All the major clichés were utterly avoided, not a single stars and stripes to be seen, not even the remotest hint of patriotic zeal, no mournful brass sections but plenty of Hans "I really need some new material after Gladiator" Zimmer's African melodies. The violence was visceral without being excessively bloody or stylised, and there was a sentimentality that deftly avoided being cheesy.

Most importantly Bruce Willis managed to avoid being Bruce Willis for 80% of the time.

The nearest thing I would compare this movie to is Black Hawk Down. However, BHD is wedged firmly in the action genre and this really isn't. Yup, there is shooting and violence in it but it manages to not be about that, which I think is a great thing.

My advice: grab the DVD version, watch the movie, then watch the trailer/previews included on the disk - you'll wonder if you were watching the same film, the trailer just does not do it justice.

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