Saving U.S. Rangers

Josh Hartnett in Black Hawk Down (2001)

When orders came through for a U.S. Rangers mission into Mogadishu to capture two key lieutenants of warlord Muhammad Farrah Aidid it was a cut and chase job which should take no more than an hour. But things didn't go to plan when not one but two Black Hawk choppers were downed by RPGs and the Rangers on the ground found themselves in a 16 hour battle to survive until they could be extracted the next day.

As a piece of film making there is no denying that "Black Hawk Down" is impressive, strip away the start and the end and you are left with around a hour onslaught of action as the drama in Mogadishu as we have these U.S. Rangers having to survive a relentless battle for 16 hours. Everything about it technically impresses from a rocket whizzing through the air to the beauty of the shots from up in the choppers as they fly along the coastline. And I could go on about what an impressive movie it is visually and I am sure film students must enjoy studying it to see what Ridley Scott did.

But as a retelling of what happened in October 1993 it didn't work for me and that maybe because I can't remember much of what happened back then. I get a feeling that whilst some might get some enjoyment from watching an action packed siege style movie you need to be able to connect with the actual events to appreciate it.

I hate to say this but "Black Hawk Down" began to turn into spot the actor as it is a movie with a remarkably impressive cast especially watched now with some of the actors back then just at the start of their careers such as Tom Hardy. On the subject of Hardy I counted at least 8 British actors playing American characters which surprised me a little although all the actors are suited to the movie with a young and handsome appeal going on.

What this all boils down to is that whilst visually and technically "Black Hawk Down" impressed the actual story of these American rangers stuck in Mogadishu didn't capture my attention as much as I expected.

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