Tears of the Sun
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Loyal veteran Navy S.E.A.L. Lt. A.K. Waters (Bruce Willis) is sent into the heart of war-torn Africa on a hazardous mission to rescue Dr. Lena Hendricks (Monica Bellucci), a U.S. citizen who runs a missionary. When the beautiful doctor refuses to abandon the refugees in her care, Lt. Waters finds himself having to choose between following orders and the dictates of his own conscience. Together, they begin a dangerous trek through the deadly jungle, all the while being pursued by a rebel militiagroup, with only one goal in mind: to assassinate Lt. Waters' unit and the refugees in his care.
Because of the intense political nature of Tears of the Sun, it's no surprise that a good deal of the DVD content is devoted to the political and historical background of Africa. Director Antoine Fuqua discusses it in his feature-length commentary track, along with other comments about the film itself. Another commentary track, in which the authors recall the making of the film and the material that was cut, lasts 17 minutes and is not related to the portion of the film it accompanies. A pop-up "fact track" offers further background and production info, as does a 15-minute making-of featurette. Eight of the African actors discuss their harrowing personal experiences in "Voices of Africa," and eight deleted scenes wouldn't have added much to the film, other than introducing two small but important characters earlier. The sound mix is particularly involving during the climactic scene. --David Horiuchi
- Writer's observations
- Journey to Safety: Making Tears of the Sun
- Voices of Africa
- Deleted scenes
- Africa fact track
- Interactive map of Africa
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This is also not a "fun movie". At times, it is quite brutal in the narrative. If you are expecting quotable one-liners and a wise-cracking Bruce Willis, you are going to be very dissatisfied as well as disappointed. Nothing light nor humorous here.
This is a dark, well crafted film where you can almost taste the salt from the sweat and your gut gets wrenched from the brutality. It's an excellent movie from Antoine Fuqua and has held up well over the years.
So often it all seems so crazy and so cruel, but as the adage says, "TIA" (This Is Africa)
Why were the SEALs in Nigeria in the first place? Why is 50 something Bruce Willis only a lieutenant when Lt's are usually under 30? Why is the government that got overthrown worth saving? Basically it lacks a reason that I as the viewer should care about the plot. From a story telling perspective it should make me care about the people involved. Give me some background on the situation. I can tell that the big scary dude chasing them in a bad guy, but why is he a bad guy? Without that context it felt like I started the movie late and was just watching for the action, not the story.
As far as the battle scenes go it's entertaining. It makes you feel for the characters that don't make it, but not enough. They are just people you didn't know who died. It's not like when Goose dies in Top Gun after you spent the first hour of the movie learning to love him as a character. This film skips the part where they turn the characters from images on the screen into people I care about as the viewer.
The Arthur character in particular. Without giving anything away, they could have made him central to the emotional story by showing what a great leader he and his family were and how sad it is that a coup is trying to kill him. But they didn't. They didn't even introduce him as a named character until over an hour into the film. Then it was like "Here is a new character in the story you're an hour into....love him!" It doesn't work that way.
Ultimately I enjoyed it for 2 hours. I was rooting for the heroes. It was well acted. But I don't ever have a need to watch it again.