cranky home
Reviews since 1993:   A-E     F-N      O-Z    Posters       Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do         Search the Site

Your Donations support the Site

Top Selling DVD     Books

50 Shades of Grey
Exodus Gods and Kings
Grand Budapest Hotel
Imitation Game, The
Into the Woods

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Theory of Everything
Ride Along
We're the Millers
The Great Gatsby
The Avengers
Amazing Spider-Man
Girl w/ Dragon Tattoo
Dark Knight Trilogy
World War Z
Happy Feet 2
Iton Man 3 combo
Batman Begins
Dark Knight
Fifth Element
The Hangover
Hunger Games
James Bond 11 disc coll.
Lord of the Rings trilogy
Mission Impossible GP
Sherlock Holmes AGOS
Singing in the Rain
Snow White Huntsman
Star Trek Into Darkness combo
Star Wars Saga
21 Jump Street
Ultimate Matrix coll
X-Men First Class
X-Men Trilogy
X-Men Wolverine

 BLU-Ray for Family DVDs 
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
A Bug's Life
Chronicles of Narnia set
Harry Potter 1-8 collection
Iron Man 2 combo
Kung Fu Panda
Lord of the Rings Trilogy Pinocchio
Pirates of Caribbean trilogy
Pixar short films
Shrek the Whole Story
Sleeping Beauty
The Smurfs
Snow White & 7 Dwarfs
Star Trek motion pictures set
Star Trek TNG Season One
Star Wars Saga (1-6)
Toy Story combo
Toy Story 2 combo
Toy Story 3 combo
Wall-E SE


Search engine by FreeFind
Click to add search to YOUR web site!
click to search site

Alice in Wonderland
Beauty and the Beast
Kung Fu Panda
The Lion King
Mary Poppins 45th LE
Princess Mononoke
Shrek the Whole Story
Simpsons Movie
Spider-Man Trilogy
Spirited Away
Star Trek movies set
Star Trek TOS (TV)
ST:TNG complete tv set
Star Wars Trilogy (1-3)
Star Wars Trilogy (4-6)
Toy Story DVD combo
Toy Story 2 DVD combo
Toy Story 3 DVD combo
Wallace and Gromit
Wall-E SE

Buy Movie collectibles
TV/Movie Collectibles

movie review query engine

NY film critics online

Privacy Policy

Click for full sized poster

Tears of the Sun

Starring Bruce Willis and Monica Bellucci
Screenplay by Alex Lasker & Patrick Cirillo
Directed by Antoine Fuqua

IN SHORT: a dud. [Rated R for strong War Violence, Some Brutality and Language. 120 minutes]

You know what you expect in a Bruce Willis actionflick. We sure do. We also had high expectations when that action is set in a war zone. Strip the production of any emotion whatsoever and what's left in the can is a big time disappointment.

Lest anyone confuse the two, Tears of the Sun is a fictional "send in the Marines" story -- in this case the team is of Navy SEALS. Led by Lt. A.K. Waters (Bruce Willis) the soldiers are dispatched by their commanding officer, Captain Bill Rhodes (Tom Skerritt), to Nigeria to retrieve Dr. Lena Kendricks (Monica Bellucci), a priest and two nuns. That African country has just suffered a military coup d'etat led by the -- do we have to say it? -- despicable, evil and murderous Colonel Idris Sadick (Malick Bowens). The American-by-marriage doctor is, apparently, in danger. The screenplay doesn't get any deeper than that.

With a whole lot of soldiers to keep track of, Tears of the Sun fails to make the determination as to which are the faceless grunts and which are the faces we should remember. Perhaps that's the way it is in war, where the uniforms are a soldier's ID, but movie audiences only have two hours to make connections. Here are the members of the SEALS team: "Red" (Cole Hauser) "Zee" (Eamonn Walker) "Slo" (Nick Chinlund) "Silk" (Charles Ingram) "Doc" (Paul Francis) "Flea" (Chad Smith). Small routines in the story allow us to place three of the five, but when the final live or die battle scene hit the screen, we didn't really care which of 'em bit the dust. That might be just fine for military statisticians but not for those of us in the audience.

It isn't clear why one small group of doctors is of such vital importance that we must send in the Navy. The bigger story in this film is one of "humanity." The slaughter and torture inflicted upon the native citizens by their rulers is, apparently, something that has more to do with tribal warfare than political unrest. Our soldiers disobey direct orders and march a group of natives towards the border to save them from government troops that are tracking them down at a furious pace. Doing the right thing is, as far as we're concerned, the right thing. Stripping all emotion from those actions doesn't yield a story that is compelling and exciting.

Tears of the Sun tries to have it both ways as it attempts to mix the politics of the modern world with that of traditional African tribes. The big surprise that is buried deep in the Second Act would provide reason enough if anyone in a decision making capacity knew of it before the "go" order was given. But it wasn't. None of the natives stand out, either, which robs the mawkish tear filled eyes filled with gratitude sequences at the film's end of any emotional power. We're not spilling anything storywise that our audience had not already discounted. The crowd all around us was so distanced by the generic suffering and fleeing scenes in the film that they were breaking into laughter as the ending came ever closer. It all comes across as cheap theatrics.

To be fair, there was scattered applause when the climactic battle had run its course. Lots of cool looking explosions will usually get that kind of result.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Tears of the Sun, he would have paid . . .



amazon com link Click to buy films by Antoine Fuqua
Click to buy films starring Bruce Willis
Click to buy films starring Monica Bellucci
Click Here!

The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2017  by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.