Monday, April 13, 2009

Tears of the Sun. D-

Lieutenant A.K. Waters, played by Hollywood mega-star Bruce Willis, and his men running through villages and hitting the bad guys at a 95 % rate is just one of many unrealistic segments in 'Tears of the Sun,' a movie so implausibly bad that it is hard to even call it a fun action film. Notice how I said 'the bad guys.' Normally, in a war picture, I would refer to them as the enemy, but since the conflicts in the movie are entirely fictional, I have a hard time discussing it with any sincerity. The plot is simple and obvious: Waters, after just returning from a dangerous mission, is assigned to rescue Dr. Lena Kendricks (Monica Bellucci), who is bringing aid to a group of Africans in Nigeria. Waters finds Kendricks, who is quite stubborn, easily, but the hard part is getting her to leave her patients. Waters actually gets Kendricks on the plane, but then something inside of him (we never find out what) tells him to go back and rescue the refugees. Since they can't all fit on the plane, Waters begins the journey of leading them by feet to safety. But why are a group of violent rebel forces pursuing them, and how are they able to trace the exact tracks of Waters? We are given the reason about two thirds through, but since the movie is so preposterous, it just feels stupid. This was a jumbled, confused movie. Its main problem was that it takes in the conflicts in Africa, which are very serious and very tragic, and mixes them into this action flick with hardly any meaning. There is not a single trace of true human emotion, and all of the characters were as plain as Mrs. Bairds white bread. They're like cardboard. Kendricks was especially disappointing. Not only is her character poorly acted by Bellucci, but she is also a pointless object in the movie. She just serves as the reason for director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) to make an action movie. She does absolutely nothing, expect heal Waters' arm at one point. If there are any positives to take from the film, they are that some of the action scenes aren't all that bad, and there are also some nice wide sweeping shots that are quite beautiful. But besides that, this was simply a movie that did not work, and one that even fans of war movies won't like.

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