Black Hawk Down

My Favorite Scene: Black Hawk Down (2001) “We Have a Black Hawk Down”

Time Killers will know that I’ve been psyched/scared about Ridley Scott adapting The Martian (opening Friday) for months.  The Martian is one of the best books I’ve read in recent years, and I’ve been fairly vocal that I think Ridley has lost it.  I’m thrilled by the advance reviews, though and I can’t wait to see it.  When he’s on, Ridley is on par with any director in Hollywood.  Most people consider his best film to be Alien, and I might agree, but you could make a strong argument for 2001’s Black Hawk Down.
Black Hawk Down

If you’ve never read Mark Bowden’s harrowing account of a mission to take out a warlord in Sudan gone horribly wrong, I could not recommend it more.  Ridley perfectly captured the claustrophobic charnel house that Mogadishu turned into for these soldiers.  The cast is stellar, the cinematography is the best in any Scott film and why it was overlooked for more critical acclaim is a complete mystery to me.  This is a perfect film, and one of the best war movies ever made.  If Scott can bring this sort of game to The Martian, man, we’re in for a treat.
Black Hawk Down

2 thoughts on “My Favorite Scene: Black Hawk Down (2001) “We Have a Black Hawk Down””

  1. I’m telling you, even the greatest director in the world needs a great story, and one that hasn’t been put through some kind of weird processor. Hannibal, Robin Hood, American Gangster, Prometheus… they all had middling to terrible scripts. Nicholas Cage killed Matchstick Men, but the thing is, the buck stops with the director. If you encourage the worst instincts of the biggest overactor who ever lived, you are complicit in whatever might follow. But even with Lawrence Olivier, that movie would have been fluff.

    For about a decade now Scott has been latching onto weak material, but to my mind Black Hawk Down is one of the best war movies ever made, and I’ve always been grateful that Scott didn’t show the dead soldiers being dragged through the streets at the end, because that would have put me over the edge.

    If the Martian is as good as the critics think, and Scott has one or two good movies left in him after this one, people in the future will never be able to say he jumped the shark. He’ll be called a great director with a slightly spotty career, but not a guy who should have stopped while he was ahead. And that makes me happy, because Scott has made some of my favorite films and I admire him a lot.


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