MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 83,112 this week

The Essence of Combat: Making 'Black Hawk Down' (2002)

Video  |   |  Documentary  |  3 June 2003 (USA)
7.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 178 users  
Reviews: 2 user

Nearly every possible element to making the film Black Hawk Down (2001) is examined here in great detail. Both behind the scenes material and interviews with the cast, crew and actual rangers inform us how this film was pulled off so perfectly.

0Check in
0Share...

IMDb Picks: August

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in August.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 370 titles
created 17 Oct 2011
 
a list of 2959 titles
created 30 Oct 2012
 
a list of 6955 titles
created 01 Apr 2013
 
a list of 1513 titles
created 20 May 2013
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Essence of Combat: Making 'Black Hawk Down' (Video 2002)

The Essence of Combat: Making 'Black Hawk Down' (Video 2002) on IMDb 7.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Essence of Combat: Making 'Black Hawk Down'.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | History | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

123 elite U.S. soldiers drop into Somalia to capture two top lieutenants of a renegade warlord and find themselves in a desperate battle with a large force of heavily-armed Somalis.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Tom Sizemore
The Virgin Queen (TV Mini-Series 2005)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The Virgin Queen explores the full sweep of Elizabeth's life: from her days of fear as a potential victim of her sister's terror; through her great love affair with Robert Dudley; into her ... See full summary »

Stars: Anne-Marie Duff, Sienna Guillory, Ian Hart
Minotaur (2006)
Adventure | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.6/10 X  

Long ago in the Iron Age a shadow loomed over a lonely village. For generations the village youths are stolen from their families and delivered as sacrifice to a mythical beast - the ... See full summary »

Director: Jonathan English
Stars: Tom Hardy, Michelle Van Der Water, Tony Todd
Wuthering Heights (TV Mini-Series 2009)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Foundling Heathcliff is raised by the wealthy Earnshaws in Yorkshire but in later life launches a vendetta against the family.

Stars: Tom Hardy, Charlotte Riley, Andrew Lincoln
Sucker Punch (2008)
Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Ray 'Harley' Davidson is a hustler. With flash clothes and a fast mouth, Harley lives life in the fast lane. With his passion for all things gambling, money runs like water through Harley's... See full summary »

Director: Malcolm Martin
Stars: Gordon Alexander, Antonio Fargas, Ian Freeman
Action | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Two top CIA operatives wage an epic battle against one another after they discover they are dating the same woman.

Director: McG
Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, Tom Hardy
Pearl Harbor (2001)
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Pearl Harbor follows the story of two best friends, Rafe and Danny, and their love lives as they go off to join the war.

Director: Michael Bay
Stars: Ben Affleck, Kate Beckinsale, Josh Hartnett
Tig (2015)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The personal Biography of Tig Notaro, a Stand-up comedian who was diagnosed with cancer.

Directors: Kristina Goolsby, Ashley York
Stars: Stephanie Allynne, Zach Galifianakis, Sarah Silverman
Bronson (2008)
Action | Biography | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young man who was sentenced to seven years in prison for robbing a post office ends up spending three decades in solitary confinement. During this time, his own personality is supplanted by his alter-ego, Charles Bronson.

Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Stars: Tom Hardy, Kelly Adams, Luing Andrews
Poaching Wars (TV Movie 2013)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
Director: Ewen Thompson
Stars: Tom Hardy
Watching (2010)
Short | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Josh sits alone in a café, happily watching the world go by. Even if that means denying his longing for the waitress, Annie. But when Carrick walks into his life, the scene is set for an opportunity that could change Josh forever.

Director: Max Myers
Stars: Charlie Cattrall, Susannah Fielding, Ian Hart
Special Look (TV Series 2012)
Talk-Show
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Stars: Ben Affleck, Christian Bale, Carrie Coon
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
...
Himself
Lee Van Arsdale ...
Himself - Military Consultant
...
Himself
Brian Bean ...
Himself - Task Force
...
Himself
Mark Bowden ...
Himself
...
Himself
...
Himself
Tim Burke ...
Himself
Bill Butler ...
Himself
...
Himself
...
Himself
John Collett ...
Himself
...
Himself
...
Himself
Edit

Storyline

Nearly every possible element to making the film Black Hawk Down (2001) is examined here in great detail. Both behind the scenes material and interviews with the cast, crew and actual rangers inform us how this film was pulled off so perfectly. Written by Rhyl Donnelly

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 June 2003 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This feature-length documentary is featured on the 3-disc Special Edition DVD for Black Hawk Down (2001), released in June 2003. See more »

Goofs

In Tom Sizemore's last interview segment the boom nearly hits his head. See more »

Quotes

Hugh Dancy: It's a huge rush. It's like I said...like a great game, you know. There are certain things in life that you want to be able to do without having the bad experiences attached to them, and this is one of them. I get to run around with guns and with things blowing up around you, but I don't actually have to kill anybody and nobody is going to kill me and that's great.
See more »

Connections

References Money for Nothing (1993) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Interesting collection of solid featurettes but has all the same problems as the film
19 January 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

On the Black Hawk Down dvd is a collection of featurettes under the banner title of this title. The individual documentaries cover the whole process of creating the film, from the original book and it's adaptation for the screen, the training of the cast from knowing nothing to having to act as real soldiers. The Moroccan shoot and the addition of score and digital effects are also covered.

Having watched the film, I decided to spend a few hours watching the documentary. Although it is a collection of smaller documentaries, this film is still a very good addition and is an example to other dvd's of the level of extras that should be on disks. The film covers the whole scope of stuff involved in making the movie and it is pretty interesting yet failed to really grip me or have me nodding in wonder. The usual stuff is all there - the cast get trained, the filming is difficult but eye opening, the music grows with the material and the effects merge seamlessly. All the way through the film the cast and crew are full of respect for the real soldiers, and rightly so, however I would have liked to hear more personal things rather than quite generic sound bites.

Some of the cast talk about their emotions playing the real characters and thinking of what it was like to be in there, but most don't say anything somebody else wouldn't have said. Where was the specific stories? Where was the insight into the material? It was only in the final 15 minutes where stuff got interesting. It started with the writer Mark Bowden calling the mission a `failure' and pointing out (pre-Iraq and Afghanistan) that Americans know now that they can't `change the politics of a small country by military might' and also saying `we cannot use our military might to change the world into an image of what WE think it should be.' I was amazed to hear him say this simply because nobody else had had a critical or insightful word in their mouths for over two hours! Also it was clear that the film had no scope for criticism or comment - Scott is very clear about the fact that he had lengthy and difficult negotiations with the military about the film before they would let him have the helicopters he needed; however he is also notably silent about the specifics of that arrangement!

Following this statement, the editors seem to let control go a little because there are several comments that the military wouldn't have liked. One actor states he hates war and is against it unless a last resort (ie - not pre-emptive). The Fincher follows it up by stating that Somalis are not bad people (a fact the film had not recognised) and Piven understanding why they attacked the US - `if people came into your backyard, you'd react the same way.' One of the cast even goes on to say that this event caused the US to lose it's stomach for war and thus sit out while the action in Rwanda etc went on.

The cast pushing the idea that the film is an antiwar movie is a little thin (Scott is weakest `I think every war movie is an antiwar movie' - er, no!) and this is all the time such sentiments are given. In this regard the documentary has the same failings of the film - it is US focused. No section of the documentary is given over to the background of Somalia, no part of it was given over to Somalia recollections of that day (even though it was claimed they were involved). Likewise the section on the writing deals with why they combined some US characters but never even acknowledges the fact that soldiers of other nations were heavily involved in the fighting and main rescue mission. Also it was very disappointing that the subject of the actual raid was never broached to an interesting level - `it was a success' is the military's chant; even being the last line of this film; but most military commentators called it a fiasco at the time and the US was criticised for launching this raid alone without telling others but then needing help out.

Overall this is a really long documentary that I am loathe to criticise because it is a good example of what I look for in a dvd - cast and crew involvement, long running time, reasonable detail. However the fact that it seems to toe the same party line as the film was a problem and nothing sensational really come out of it. It is well done and interesting but I would have liked the flag waving to have stopped for a while. McGregor's comment `war is sh*t' is true, but I very much would have liked a fair look at the real events rather than 60 minutes of cast training, special effects and score development.


6 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Contribute to This Page