"Tears of the Sun" is a thrilling, emotional ride based on real events. The film is not without flaws. There are a few character flaws, questionable character decisions, minor errors in editing and sound, and there could be one or two issues with historical accuracy, but this is a movie, not a documentary. And they do a great job telling a story about how humanity can be at its worst, as well as at its best, and that good always triumphs over evil. It's got more feel to it than most standard Hollywood action films, and while there is action, there is also drama, war horror, and emotions. It is not one to dismiss, nor be ridiculed. It feels honest, and is an entertaining, as well as though-provoking movie.
Now I will add my counter-arguments to some of the most common negative reviewers:
- "Typical Hollywood narrative"
While many Hollywood films have proven in the past to have made MANY mistakes in story-writing, one thing they are effective in doing is using data of all sorts that help generate formulas that in turn create effective stories that are received as positively as possible, and that will generate the most profit, while maintaining numerous other variables. In short, if a generic plot formula works, no point in not using it.
It is presumptuous when people attack the story of a Hollywood movie, by claiming it to be a dull, and stale cliche. Because you can usually find other movies that have received outstanding reviews and overwhelming praise that follow similar, if not close-to-exact, plot structure. Take "Saving Private Ryan" for example. There are several plot elements in that movie that are nearly identical to this movie, yet I guarantee many negative reviewers of "Tears of the Sun" have given glowing reviews to "Saving Private Ryan." This hypocrisy is not relevant to all, or possibly even most of those who gave a harsh critique to this film's plot, but it definitely applies to some.
-"The Americans have to be the heroes yet again"
Why not? Americans have been heroes many times in real history. What's so wrong about the nation that creates movies, whether basing them on real events or not, to depict the protagonists as heroes with that nation's origin? EVERY country that generates movies does this. There is nothing wrong with a nation's pride being a focal point in cinema, as long as it's in good taste.
Additionally, yes this film is based on a Canadian task force. But the actual events in the story is fictional (events of the direct story = fictional, events of the surrounding story = non-fictional), so there's no problem creating a fictional task force that's American, during a historical conflict.
-"A handful of soldiers cannot overtake a whole army"
This is an easy one to counter. Let's list how many ways a small American squad can handle a small army:
1. Training. The Navy SEALs had far more extensive training, and knew how to operate well as a small group, which is easier to control and engage with than an army. Selection is also a point here. Only the best can be Navy SEALs, and I'm sure the rebels added anyone who supported their cause to their ranks.
2. Technology & gear. The SEALs had it all, the rebels had AK47s and blades. The SEALs had communication equipment that kept them all operating simultaneously and with minimal effort. Their weapons were well maintained, and thus more accurate, while the rebels no doubt did not take nearly as good care of theirs, which would result in much less effective firepower (and AK47s are already a fairly inaccurate rifle, which were the most common rifles used by the rebels). And don't forget, they had some help in the end.
3. Willpower. After seeing what the rebels are capable of, the American soldiers, along with the Ibo people, had more to fight for. That can make, and has made, a difference.
4. History. There are MANY accounts of a small group of people, even sole individuals, who have stood their ground against many hostiles. In some of these true and confirmed events, those heroes who stood their ground also came out alive. In all of them, they were heavily outnumbered. A few examples are: July 18, 1918 where 5 American soldiers held against more than 60 Germans, killing 22 and capturing 40, . Thus, based on history alone, the efforts of the SEALs depicted in "Tears of the Sun" could be justified.
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