This film was simply incredible. I didn't see it at the cinema, which upon seeing it later on DVD release, regretting missing first time round.
It made some incredibly powerful statements and was very difficult to watch. I rarely admit to this, but I actually found parts of it so moving, that I cried! And I never cry.
The choice of Bruce Willis was a good one and he plays a deeply conflicted character, he plays him with depth. I have seen Monica Belucci in films before. She is an incredibly gifted actress and she really believed in this project. Her character comes across as having strong religious and moral convictions, prepared to die to help and protect others. This comes across in the decisions she takes and the willingness to stand strong under pressure.
Having seen the Documentary on the special features section of the DVD afterwards, I could see the incredible lengths that everyone attached to the filming went to. Each of the actors playing Seal Team members, went through some very authentic training in preparation and stayed in character outside of filming during the day. Given the commitment of all those attached to the film, I can see why the film is what it is.
The director, Antoine Fuqua, from the films I have seen in which he directed, brings a strong moral theme to his characters and the story. The whole visual manner of filming, camera angles, close ups etc adds to the intensity here.
The choice of filter during filming, that gives a subdued and darker feeling visually, was perfect. The use of Africans as extras was an interesting and a suitable choice, given their backgrounds. Many of these extras were showing genuine emotions which was captured on camera, as they relived traumatic moments in their lives when certain scenes were filmed.
On that note, one scene in particular made for very difficult viewing, but totally in context and I would expect it would provoke a strong reaction from viewers, for good reason. The actual combat scenes are kept selectively short and in context to the overall film. They are also very realistic.
The soundtrack was well suited and complimented the whole overall feel to the film. I would not say that this film was entertaining, it is very hard to watch but it is an example of good film that will challenge everyone who watches it and who has a conscience.
After seeing this film, as with Hotel Rwanda and Tears of the Sun, I am constantly reminded of our individual and collective moral responsibilities in the 'civilised Western World' when atrocities are committed. And it sits badly with my conscience that 'we' in the West do so little and so late in trying to stop such genocide from happening. I for one think that every adult should see it.
Navy SEAL Lieutenant A.K. Waters and his elite squadron of tactical specialists are forced to choose between their duty and their humanity, between following orders by ignoring the conflict that surrounds them, or finding the courage to follow their conscience and protect a group of innocent refugees. When the democratic government of Nigeria collapses and the country is taken over by a ruthless military dictator, Waters, a fiercely loyal and hardened veteran is dispatched on a routine mission to retrieve a Doctors Without Borders physician, Dr. Lena Kendricks. Dr. Kendricks, an American citizen by marriage, is tending to the victims of the ongoing civil war at a Catholic mission in a remote village. When Waters arrives, however, Dr. Kendricks refuses to leave unless he promises to help deliver the villagers to political asylum at the nearby border. If they are left behind, they will be at the mercy of the enormous rebel army. Waters is under strict orders from his commanding officer Captain Bill Rhodes to remain disengaged from the conflict. But as he and his men witness the brutality of the rebels first-hand, they are won over to Dr. Kendricks' cause and place their lives at risk by agreeing to escort the villagers on a perilous trek through the dense jungle. As they move through the countryside on foot, Waters' team, experts at evasion and concealment, are inexplicably and ferociously pursued by an army of rebels. They are confounded until they discover that, among the refugees, is the sole survivor of the country's previous ruling family, whom the rebels have been ordered to eliminate at all costs. Waters and his small band of soldiers must weigh the life of one man against their own and the refugees they feel obliged to protect.
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August 24, 2016 at 6:23 PM