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(Review originally written at 16 July 2004)

This movie uses the exact same gritty style as used in "Saving Private Ryan". I don't mind it, I welcome it! For me it's wonderful to see that "Saving Private Ryan" set a whole new trend for war movies.

Just like in "Saving Private Ryan" this movie tries to shock the audience, sometimes it succeeds but sometimes it also simply fails because the movie tries to hard to shock with as a result that some scene's feel forced. The characters and the event fail to get me emotionally involved, so for me this movie is more successful as an action than it is as a war movie.

Like many more people my major complaint is the use of characters. They really stay just uniforms with persons in it for me. I have a hard time to remember all of the names mainly because of that they all look the same to me. The only one's I can tell apart are the one's that are played by famous actors (Josh Hartnett, Tom Sizemore, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom, Jason Isaacs, Ewan McGregor etc.) I really couldn't feel for any of the characters, also thanks to it that there are some over-dramatized scene's involving some of them that just don't work for me.

I was also told by a Somalian friend of mine that the presentation of Mogadishu is not completely fair. The real Mogadishu is much more modern. He also of course complaint that none of the Somali's in the movie spoke actual Somalian. But this are of course simply things that wouldn't bother any of the "normal" viewers.

I admit that I expected very little from Josh Hartnett after seeing "Pearl Harbor" but I was wrong to do so, he actually can act! It's too bad that some of the other actors are miscast such as Jason Isaacs and Orlando Bloom but biggest miscast was Ewan McGregor. He and his character really felt out of place.

I'm beginning to sound extremely negative about this movie, while in fact it is far from bad!

The action really is top class! Also thanks to the cinematography and the unusual but very effective musical score from Hans Zimmer and friends.

Far from flawless war movie but a very good action movie!

9/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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