TEARS  OF  THE  SUN    - A  Narada   Film Review

  as Dr Kendricks
   as Lt. Waters
   as Bill Rhodes
Tears Of The Sun - -  2002   - Antoine Fuqua-Director   &   Mike Lobell-Producer

   Viewed on 06 Apr 03    Before we get started, I would like to ask anyone if they know why this film was called TEARS OF THE SUN ?    Was the reference to it left on the cutting room floor, or did they do a marketing survey and determine that this name would be big box-office?   I wouldn't mention this, except Hollywood is doing this more and more lately.   Better, perhaps, this meaningless poetic title than, say, "THIRD WORLD BLOODLETTING".   The only reference I could find to it was in the credits: the Tears Of The Sun Band.
        TEARS OF THE SUN provided nothing new to the 'war' genre.   A US military crew HALOs into a Nigerian village at night to escort a group of foreigners 12 kilometers through the jungle immediately so that they can be rescued by helicopter from raping and pillaging rebels.   An embarrassing question arises; - since the rebels hadn't yet arrived at the village, why didn't the choppers just come in unseen before daybreak and pick them up at the village?    Maybe the answer is; - had they done that, hardened cynical Bruce Willis couldn't have had multiple crises of conscience, and TEARS would have been over as quickly as, say, an episode of Combat.
       Instead, we have overlong scenes where the camera pans across fleeing refugee faces in various stages of exhaustion, misery, starvation, pain, betrayal, fear, bereavement and abandonment.  Director Antoine Fuqua, tried every trick in the book to make this a real tear-jerker.  However, using every trick in the book over and over again tends to be self-defeating.  I won't say Fuqua was manipulating us like so many hand puppets, but if you looked closely, you could see where Fuqua appeared on screen holding up signs for us to read; "Cry NOW " and "Get A Lump In Your Throat NOW"    And this is a shame, because there were some good performances, good music, and occasionally inspired photography.   If you haven't been to a "war movie" in the last ten years, TEARS might be welcome respite from the Bangkok heat.
      LEAST Enduring Line or Phrase:  "God already left Africa."

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