Reviewed by: Tim Emmerich
Starring: Bruce Willis, Monica Bellucci, Cole Hauser, Fionnula Flanagan, Tom Skerritt | Directed by: Antoine Fuqua | Produced by: Mike Lobell, Arnold Rifkin, Bruce Willis | Written by: Patrick Cirillo, Alex Lasker | Distributor: Revolution Studios
One could take away from this film a lesson on morality regardless of the cost. This film does a good job of demonstrating the principle of consequences for your actions. Depending on your perspective, one could also take away a sense of frustration since the team has apparently disobeyed orders. While depicting acts of war, this movie contains extreme and brutal violent, depicting murdered and butchered people. There is a scene of rape and another with cruelty to a woman. As is typical for war-type movies, there is harsh and foul language. Lots of it. Mix in lots of bullets and some explosions, and you get the idea.
In Nigeria, the Muslim forces have overthrown the government. Further, they are killing all the Christians and people who’s religion differs from theirs. Actually, a more appropriate word would be slaughtering. Key American personnel are being asked to leave the country. And in some cases they send the Navy Seals in to retrieve the “package”. For “Tears of the Sun”, the main package is Dr. Lena Kendricks, a doctor working along side some missionaries in a small, country hospital. Along with the main package (Dr. Kendricks), they get another important person in tow as they try to make it to the border.
From a Christian perspective, prepare to be offended. The language is poor with many of the soldiers saying a variety of curses and taking the Lord’s name in vain. For you to think on pure thoughts, these will intrude. One could try justifying the violence to accurately depict war-time acts. However, there is lots of violence and much directed toward innocent citizens. There is lots of blood and gruesome details in the makeshift hospital. It shows recently amputated limbs.
Later, a knifing and a beheading (thankfully the camera cuts away at the last second). Lots of bodies everywhere and a small pool of blood for the many that died at one small village. There was the one rape but worst was the rebels cutting the breasts off of nursing mothers so they can’t feed their infant children. These images may be disturbing to you and affect your Christian walk.
Some observations throughout the movie. Why does Water’s Commanding Officer always call from a very active flight deck of a carrier? I find it hard to believe anyone can hear him! Usually, disobeying an order would yield harsh penalties. This film depicts none. The disobedience was done to save the refugees and Dr. Kendricks. Or you could say that Waters followed them in a different manner than was intended? Waters says at one point “God already left Africa.”
In summary, “Tears of the Sun” is a movie that demonstrates the atrocities that can be committed during war. Further, a lesson in consequences to your actions is powerful. But, it does it in a manner that may be over the top for some. Use discernment to decide to rent this movie or not. From this reviewer’s perspective, the good is outweighed by the anti-Christian atrocities. So, in general, probably pass “Tears of the Sun” up.
Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: ModerateYear of Release—2003