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Tears of the Sun
2003 - R - Mins.
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Written By: Alex Lasker & Patrick Cirillo
Starring: Bruce Willis, Monica Bellucci, Tom Selleck, Cole Hauser, Charles Ingram
Review by: John Ulmer
   
We've all seen this movie before. It's been done in different styles and with different talents, but the underlying roots are recycled and not-so-original. But if you can push that away, "Tears of the Sun" comes off as an overall decent film that manages to entertain one way or another.

Bruce Willis plays a Navy S.E.A.L. Lieutenant who leads a band of men into war-torn Africa to extract an American doctor (Monica Bellucci) and a nun and a priest. When they arrive at the doctor's "mission," she refuses to leave her people behind. Willis disobeys direct orders from the big man on the carrier (Tom Selleck), and tells her she can bring them along to the extraction point. When they arrive, she realizes he lied to her. Feeling sorry for the Africans, Willis allows her to bring 12 people along. Skip forward a few chapters on your DVD player, and you'll see that they are being tracked by African soldiers on a rampage. If they don't make it out by a few days, they'll all be dead.

Monica Bellucci's Dr. Kendrix is a whiny, arrogant person. Willis' character saves her life and disobeys direct orders many times. Just for her. But she still whines. One thing that got me was when Willis tells her they must keep moving because of enemy troops hot on their trail, but she says "We've been walking for thirty hours! We need rest!" Well, excuuuuuse me, but the stinkin' people wouldn't even BE THERE if it wasn't for Willis disobeying direct orders. Something's better than nothing, lady. But oh well, it's just a movie.

Bruce Willis gives a fairly good lead in the film, but I can't help but feel that he seems tired. Maybe it's a sign of a great actor enveloping his weathered old S.E.A.L. LT. Or maybe it's just a tired-out actor. Time will tell. I suppose he'll be sleeping by the time "Die Hard 4: Die Hardest" starts filming.

Monica Bellucci is a good choice for this film, mainly because she doesn't seem like someone who wouldn't be in Africa. I can't imagine what it would look like if, say, Willis had to rescue some beauty queen. "Stop running--I broke a nail!" Unlike films where the leading lady is running through stormy locations and still comes out with her hair-doo intact, Bellucci's hair becomes greasy and sweaty and her clothes get dirty. It's a bit more realistic than a film like this usually tries to be. Kudos there.

But in the long run, "Tears of the Sun" is nothing extraordinarily special. It's good, and entertaining, but wait till video to see it. It's not worth flying out to the theater for. Although, as I write this, the film is already out on VHS and DVD. I guess I just got a late screening on this one.
 
Movie Guru Rating
Average but solid.  Fans of this genre will probably enjoy it.  Others may not. Average but solid.  Fans of this genre will probably enjoy it.  Others may not. Average but solid.  Fans of this genre will probably enjoy it.  Others may not.
  3 out of 5 stars

 
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