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USA 2003
Directed by
Antoine Fuqua
121 minutes
Rated MA

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
1 stars

Tears Of The Sun

Draw a straight-line from John Wayne to Sylvester Stallone to Bruce Willis (whose production company was behind this film) in what is kind-of remake of The Searchers, and mire yourself deep in cliché all the way and you've got the latest offering from the director of the hit film, Training Day (2001).

Willis is a commando lieutenant sent with his men to save a lady doctor and some missionaries from a civil war zone in Nigeria. As the film is aimed at the 18-25 male demographic, director Fuqua's mainstay, the doctor is, of course, a hot babe (Monica Belluci with plenty of bosom flashing through her khaki fatigues) but, more importantly, the S.E.A.L.s are a state-of-the-art high-tech fighting unit (even though the story is supposedly based on real events that took place in Nigeria in the not-so-formidably-equipped 1970s) of good buddies who selflessly bring the full might of the American way to bear down on the standard-issue host of dirt-bags.

No doubt required viewing in boot camps across the U.S., the final scene is such an exaggerated rendition of classic avenging hero-mythicisation that it makes John Ford look like a shrinking violet in the flag-waving department. It would all be very funny in a so-bad-it's-good way were it not for the fact that in the world of realpolitik it so readily functions as propaganda for American militarism.




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