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Tears of the Sun

By Tom Siebert | Posted

In theory, exactly the war movie America needs right now, except it stinks. Never mind the sun--you'll be the one crying if you lay out eight bucks for this piece of ponderous, pretentious propaganda that wastes a terrific opportunity to tap the American zeitgeist and portray the U.S. military as a righteous force for goodness and democracy. Bruce Willis, miscast yet again in a taciturn tough-guy role, monotones his way through a paycheck performance as the leader of a team of Navy SEALs rescuing a beautiful doctor (Monica Bellucci) from Nigeria during a military coup. When the hot doc's pleas touch his conscience, he decides to go back and get some of the locals out as well. Director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) takes forever to get going, but the script is so underwritten and overwrought that every character remains either a cipher or a two-dimensional prop; even when the shooting starts it's tough to care. Willis' support squad is anonymous, but even worse the Nigerians being rescued are reduced to blips of suffering shorthand whose agonies exist only for the glorification of our heroes' rescues. Want more? The film is too dark, the editing is by turns choppy and confusing or lets scenes linger too long, and the one key plot twist is as phony as our motives in Iraq.

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