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Overall Rating

Awesome: 27.14%
Worth A Look31.43%
Average: 14.29%
Pretty Bad: 18.57%
Total Crap: 8.57%

4 reviews, 46 user ratings

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Tears of the Sun
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by EricDSnider

"Black hawk frown."
3 stars

"Tears of the Sun" is only disappointing if you have the unreasonable expectation of movies being original. If you have accepted that there are few new stories in Hollywood, or even old stories being told in new ways, then you have accepted the mediocrity that awaits you in this grim, inconsequential action drama.

Bruce Willis, shiny-headed and somber-looking -- he smiles exactly once in this film, sort of, in the final two minutes -- plays Lt. Waters, the leader of a military squad sent into Nigeria to save an American doctor, two nuns and a priest from the bloodthirsty rebels who, having effected a coup, will surely descend upon their hospital/mission any day now.

The doctor, Lena Hendricks (Monica Bellucci), stoically refuses to leave without taking all 70 patients and refugees, too. No dice, Waters says. His orders are to take her and the clergy. There isn't room on the helicopter for 70 refugees. So let's walk to the Cameroon border, Lena insists. Fine, Waters tells her, his mouth a thin line, his brows furrowed, his glare intense.

Willis glares intensely a lot in this movie, always serious, never smirking. Once or twice he utters a line that sounds like the ultra-cool world-saver he was in the "Die Hard" films, but mostly he and his compatriots take the proceedings extremely seriously. I kept picturing little boys playing army, barking out lines they've heard in war movies about "establishing a perimeter" and "rendezvousing at the L.Z." without actually knowing what any of it means, other than that war is awesome and scary.

As Waters, Hendricks, a handful of soldiers and a procession of Nigerian refugees trek through the jungle, there is a frustrating feeling of familiarity. Save for one mild twist in the action half-way through, there is precious little in the story or its outcome that is not easily foreseen from the get-go. Some characters will die, the important ones will live -- this is not the sort of film that will challenge or surprise its audience. You can tell by the dialogue that no one was trying to accomplish anything new here:

"Thank you for saving my life," Lena tells Waters.

"It wasn't about saving your life. It was about getting the job done, that's all," he growls back at her.

The director is Antoine Fuqua, whose last film, "Training Day," showed the dangers of a different jungle, Los Angeles. This project is ambitious, and he is up to the task, but he is limited by Alex Lasker and Patrick Cirillo's unimaginative script. It's a rote piece of work that thinks having Waters break a couple of rules makes him a dark anti-hero, when in fact it just makes him like all the heroes of all the other movies.

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originally posted: 07/07/03 09:34:27
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User Comments

9/14/17 morris campbell not a bad flick 3 stars
6/07/16 FrankBlank Good film. Good portrayal of fear. Your criticisms inane. "tears of the sun":::It's Africa. 4 stars
3/08/13 MR A 'wisecracking soldier' to lighten the genocide!? BTW- Sneak attack/retreat is strategy. 5 stars
8/27/10 rebecca Fantastic film, conveys empathy against overwhelming odds, a good mission, beautiful scener 5 stars
5/01/10 Arkman And don't forget the "anonymous black savages" that 1/2 of the SEALS died to save 5 stars
11/12/09 Lt. USN The reviewer has no concept of SPECWAR nor of the reality in Africa 5 stars
11/12/09 Lt. USN Having worked extensively with U SEAL team members, the film depicted reality. 5 stars
8/15/09 Jeff Wilder Acting and direction fine. But script weak, 2 stars
4/13/09 SKJ Good movie. Should have humanized the bad guys more than mindless targets. 4 stars
1/28/09 Mike Strube The review shows that its author has NEVER been to africa. I have been 1994 in Zaire. 5 stars
4/27/08 Matus Super film 5 stars
4/03/08 beau a powerful movie! it makes you wonder how people can live in those kinds of environments 4 stars
2/10/08 dracel29 amazing, marvelous, incredible, fantastic!!!!!!!!!! i dont know what to say anymore....! 1 stars
6/09/06 Frank Rountree The acting was very good, the movie was fair. 3 stars
2/26/06 ES Excellent and unforgiving, a masterpiece 5 stars
12/31/05 Ronin Willis is cool and Monica indeed is a very charismatic person. I liked it 4 stars
9/23/05 noopy nice acting by willis.....gr8 movie ...... 5 stars
7/17/05 Conner Great movie 5 stars
7/06/05 R.W. Welch Unrelievedly grim military actioner. Done well enough but not much plot. 3 stars
3/29/05 Vince This was so bad I had to stop watching ten minutes into it. 1 stars
9/16/04 Yuku Pwned da WORLD 5 stars
9/14/04 Dan WTFPWNT 5 stars
5/09/04 John it seems inspired by THE WILD GEESE but it's nowhere near as good 2 stars
5/03/04 Sarah Ecellent 5 stars
12/19/03 the Grinch Is Bellucci didn't give me a rise in my Gucci's, I'd have to give rate it P.C. Crap writing 3 stars
9/08/03 Ingo Bad acting (Willis, Bellucci, etc) & too many clichés. 2 stars
8/27/03 Robbie Hawkwind More Plot holes than a colander. Just not belivable 2 stars
8/09/03 WestcoastPunk If u can watch closly u can see that this shity movie has so many holes in the plot 1 stars
6/14/03 Jack Sommersby Well-acted and -directed, but the writing is terribly cliched and preachy. 2 stars
6/06/03 Al Bert well done 5 stars
5/22/03 Osama Bin Laden Justice, the US way... 1 stars
4/15/03 Mitsaso Monica Bellucci really saves the whole situation there 4 stars
3/29/03 Keane AWESOME!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
3/22/03 Susan Salisbury A Must See 4 stars
3/17/03 Cameron Slick Tries to be high-minded, but in the end, it's just a stylish action movie. 4 stars
3/13/03 Luckystrike This story line reminds me of…oh yeah every American war movie. 1 stars
3/12/03 Paul Coleman Well made but seems somewhat political in its theme. 4 stars
3/12/03 Knickerbocker Well-filmed! Not Overdone. 4 stars
3/10/03 nick2k besides it being sooo UNrealistically possible, it was still really good. 4 stars
3/09/03 Jiz Booooring! Willis's character would get the biggest court marshall ever if this made sense 2 stars
3/09/03 Mr GC Bad Plot. Boring action scenes. 2 stars
3/09/03 Cait Logan awesome 5 stars
3/09/03 Eric Entertaining and thoughtful, the lengthy climactic battle scene is excellent. 5 stars
3/09/03 Obi Wan Very good even though not too much action.. 5 stars
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  07-Mar-2003 (R)
  DVD: 07-Jun-2005



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