Tears of the Sun

Tears of the Sun

name = Tears of the Sun

caption = "Tears of the Sun" film poster.
director = Antoine Fuqua
producer = Ian Bryce
Mike Lobell
Arnold Rifkin
writer = Alex Lasker
Patrick Cirillo
starring = Bruce Willis
Monica Bellucci
Cole Hauser
music = Hans Zimmer
cinematography = Mauro Fiore
editing = Conrad Buff
distributor= Columbia Pictures
released= U.S. March 3, 2003
runtime = Theatrical Cut:121 min.

Director's Cut:

142 min.

country = USA
language = English
budget = $70,000,000
website = http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/tearsofthesun/
amg_id = 1:278863
imdb_id = 0314353

"Tears of the Sun" is a 2003 war film directed by Antoine Fuqua depicting a rescue mission by U.S. Navy SEALs in the midst of a fictional civil war in the West African country of Nigeria. The film stars Bruce Willis as the commander of the SEAL team sent into the middle of this conflict to rescue a US citizen played by Monica Bellucci. Willis produced the film through his Cheyenne Enterprises production company and took its title from an early name for the "Die Hard" sequel; agreeing to the "Die Hard" project on the condition that he could use its subtitle for his own film.


off the coast of Africa, and a news reporter on the flight deck reporting on the coup taking place. His report is interrupted by the news of the whole presidential family being assassinated by rebel forces.

Lieutenant Waters and his team of Navy SEALs disembark from a helicopter, apparently returning from a mission to extract American citizens from the embassy. They are greeted by Captain Bill Rhodes on the deck who immediately informs them that they’ll need to be reinserted to extract a “critical personality” immediately. After refitting for the next mission, eating and having their wounds tended by the medic they meet in the ships briefing room to get the details of their mission. They’re instructed that they will Halo Jump over Cameroon and into the jungle outside of a small Catholic mission where they will find Dr. Lena Fiore Kendricks who is an American citizen by marriage. Their secondary mission is to extract the priest and two nuns who run the mission if they are willing to go with them. Once they have their package they are to make the twelve-klick hike to the designated extraction point where they’ll be flown out by helicopter.

The mission begins precisely as planned with the SEAL team dropping from the aircraft and free falling over the target area. After forcibly having a young Nigerian woman lead the SEALS to Kendricks, Waters informs Kendricks of the rebel company approaching the mission and that their orders are to extract U.S. personnel. Kendricks refuses to leave the mission without the people under her care. Waters contacts Rhodes to explore their options and after a short and ambiguous conversation concedes to the doctor that they will take the refugees that can move under their own power with them. Kendricks agrees and immediately begins to round up every able-bodied refugee to make the hike. Irritated and behind schedule the SEALs start to move out with the refugees after daybreak. Their journey proves to be slow and hindered as guiding forty injured and wounded refugees is a difficult task.

After night has fallen they decide to take a short break to allow the refugees to rest and give Dr. Kendricks time to administer medication to those that need it. Waters has his team setup a defensive perimeter around the refugees. Moments after the perimeter is set, guerilla rebels are rapidly approaching their position, with Waters stealthily killing a straggling tailgunner. Dr. Kendricks expresses her concern to Waters that the rebels are headed for the mission, but Waters is determined to carry out his orders and they continue on their way.

They finally reach their landing zone and contact the helicopters that are en route. When the choppers land, Waters' initial plan becomes clear as the SEALs suddenly turn on the refugees and hold them at gun point. Waters forces Dr. Kendricks onto the helicopter and the SEAL team collapses back for a swift extraction. The refugees are left stranded in the middle of the jungle without any protection against rebel forces.

During the trip back to the Truman, the helicopter crew and SEALS pass over the mission and discover that the mission has been raided and destroyed just as Kendricks had predicted. Feeling a deep conviction, Waters orders the helicopter to turn around and regroup with the refugees. The SEALs decide on the spot to escort the refugees to the Cameroon border.

During the trip, the SEALs discover that they are being tracked by a large body of rebel soldiers while using satellite scans of the area. Their pursuers are having mysterious success in their tracking of the SEALs. As they continuously attempt to escape and evade the rebels, they encounter a small village that is in the process of being wiped out by rebel soldiers. Realizing that they have an opportunity to stop it, Waters orders the refugees to remain on the high ground while his team assaults the village. They execute their plan with surgical precision, eliminating the threat. During the aftermath of the assault, the SEAL team becomes morally conscious after seeing the after-effects of the atrocities.

While continuing on their way, Slo determines that somebody within the group must be transmitting a signal that’s allowing the rebels to identify their location and close in with incredible speed. It is then revealed that there is a surviving member of the Presidential family in their party, Samuel Azuka’s son, Arthur, and that it’s very important for the rebels to ensure his death. A newer "refugee" is discovered in the group to have a transmitter on his person. He attempts to flee but is shot dead. Waters is angry at Dr. Kendricks because she knew all along about Arthur's true identity, yet never informed him.

In the light of recent events, the SEALs unanimously continue to escort the refugees no matter what the cost is. A massive fire fight breaks out between the SEALs and the hundreds of rebels hidden in the trees. Soon the SEALs form a defensive line against the rebels as they order the refugees to retreat to the tree line where the Cameroon border is in sight. Zee radios in to the Truman for air support and two F/A-18 Hornets take off from the flight deck en route to their location.

The SEALs continue to hold the line as they fall back to the refugees location. However the overwhelming firepower of the rebels claims the lives of Slo, Flea, Lake and Silk. The refugees provide a small amount of cover fire as the remaining SEALs fall back into the reeds. During the process, Waters, Red, and Zee get wounded and barely luck out as fighter pilots radio in. The SEALs pop a smoke grenade and order the pilots to fire on everything between the tree line and the smoke. Arthur and Dr. Kendricks are scrambling to the gate when they hear the thunderous roar of there bed on approach. They are terrified to see the planes drop a substantial payload on the rebel fighters. With the battlefield engulfed in fire, Arthur and Kendricks fear that the airstrike wiped out the entire SEAL team.

Waters, Zee, Doc and Red emerge from the grass as helicopters land on the other side of the Cameroon border as Captain Rhodes orders the guards to open the gate and let the SEALs and refugees in. A group of Marines then escort the SEALs to the helicopters where their wounds are tended to. Dr. Kendricks says her goodbyes to her friends and departs on the same helicopter with Waters.

The final scene depicts the refugees recognizing Arthur as the tribal king and rightful heir to Nigeria, and he raises his hand exclaiming “Freedom!” as his fellow Nigerians celebrate around him. In the closing title, we see the quote “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing” by Edmund Burke.


"Tears of the Sun" features an ensemble cast, including several refugees portrayed by real African refugees now living in the United States.


The movie was met with mostly poor reviews. Review aggregation sites Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic recorded average ratings of 38% and 45% favorable reviews, respectively. [ [http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/tears_of_the_sun/ Rotten Tomatoes review page] ] [http://www.metacritic.com/video/titles/tearsofthesun?q=tears%20of%20the%20sun Metacritic review page] ] "Time Out London" was scathing, lambasting the fact that the film focused on a fictional atrocity in a real country, when there was ample opportunity to explore similar but historically accurate atrocities.


All the actors who played Navy SEALs had to go through a two-week boot camp and during principal photography were required to refer to each other by their characters' names, even off camera, so as to improve interaction among the characters.

This is the first film to be filmed on the "Nimitz"-class nuclear aircraft carrier USS "Harry S. Truman". The U.S. Navy SH-60B Seahawk helicopters prominently seen in the film are from HSL-37 "Easy Riders" stationed at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Oahu, Hawaii.

The U.S. Navy F/A-18A Hornets shown in the aircraft carrier sequence were from VFA-204, the "River Rattlers". VFA-204 is a Navy Reserve strike fighter squadron based at Naval Air Station New Orleans.

The shooting was touched by misfortune when actor Kevin Tod Smith, who had been cast as one of Willis' men, died in an accident while visiting the set of a film in China. On February 6, 2002, while waiting for a ride back to the hotel after completing his work on the set of "", Smith decided to walk around the Central China Television film studio grounds and climbed a prop tower on the set of another film. He lost his footing and fell approximately three stories, suffering severe head injuries. Smith was sent to a local hospital, then transferred to Beijing. He lapsed into a coma and was kept on life support for ten days until life support was discontinued. He died on February 15 without regaining consciousness.


External links

* [http://www.sonypictures.com/homevideo/tearsofthesun/ Official site]
*imdb title|id=0314353|title=Tears of the Sun
*amg movie|id=1:278863|title=Tears of the Sun
*rotten-tomatoes|id=tears_of_the_sun|title=Tears of the Sun
*metacritic film|id=tears_of_the_sun|title=Tears of the Sun

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