Grizzled General Sam Shepard is having a really bad day down at the Mogadishu airport. There the Airmall boasts the world’s only Brookstone where vibrating chairs are mounted with surface-to-air missiles and barbeque grills are powered by foot-pedals.
Why the bad day? Because two Black Hawk helicopters have been shot down and a desperate scramble is on to rescue the surviving flight crews – then to rescue the rescuers of the rescuers of those in need of rescue.
All of this because an attempt to extract badass African leader Mohamed Farrah Aidid accidentally resulted in the extraction of bad-hair angel Farrah Fawcett! Said former Six Million Dollar Man Lee Majors, “That’s one ex-wife down, two to go. Hooah!”
Every single man, woman, and child in Somalia is armed to the teeth – and not with Crest and an Oral-B. This is one hostile area! And you know it’s a hostile area because on the map it’s in a big red zone labeled “hostile area.”
Enter Tom Sizemore. By golly, if the silver screen is to be believed this country’s never had a war that didn’t include the cool-under-fire Sizemore. Does Tom read for all these war movies or get drafted into them? Tom has displayed some ominous signs of shell-shock recently – how else to explain his attachment to former Hollywood Madame Heidi Fleiss? A big hug from Heidi is like a sandwich-board for psychoanalysis.
Black Hawk Down is a big-time shoot-em-up. After two hours you’ll feel like you just fought the battle with these guys, even if you’re packin’ a 32-caliber Coke and your arm empties rounds of popcorn into your mouth like a hot-buttered automatic M16.
Big time blood-and-guts spraying everywhere. Torsos, stray limbs, shooting scripts from ABC’s “Bob Patterson” – it’s all here. Ah, for the good old days when war movies were about Clint Eastwood and Don Rickles plundering Nazi gold as soft rock hits played in the background. Not about people dying and stuff. What kind of war is that?
In one memorable moment, a soldier encounters a disembodied hand and stuffs it into his pack. Unfortunately the hand rifled his belongings and made off with a pack of smokes and two Hershey bars. If it hadn’t been caught groping Melanie Griffith at the USO, it might still be on the loose today!
This movie comes to you from director Ridley Scott and producer Jerry Bruckheimer, the Felix and Oscar of tag-teams. That familiar Bruckheimer touch is evident in the comic-relief moments, like when three soldiers get lost and spend the rest of the movie fumbling their way back to their comrades. What is this, The Three Stooges in Mogadishu?
Black Hawk Down is a good movie, to be sure, but its timing is better than the movie could ever be. This may be the movie you need now, especially if someone close to you is in uniform.
Unless that uniform includes pom poms and a fan pleat skirt.
Photos Copyright ©2002 Columbia Pictures