A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In TEARS OF THE SUN, Bruce Willis plays Navy Lt. A.K. Waters, a guy who always completes his missions. His latest is the rescue of a gorgeous female doctor who runs a clinic in Nigeria that is in the path of rebel forces. For his own survival, Waters had shut down his emotions during this mission. But the beautiful doctor and the ravaged people taught him that what he should do is ignore his orders and put the lives of his men at risk. He and his men go into a town where the bad guys have killed almost everyone and just mow the bad guys down with machine guns. He puts his men at risk. Many are killed and the others are severely wounded.
Is it any good?
This movie feels like a script written for John Wayne that someone finally got around to filming 40 years later without any sense that times have changed. There are some good action sequences, but it is filled with clichés, shamelessly one-sided, has cheesy wooden dialogue, and a numbingly predictable plot. Waters defies American diplomatic policy going back to the Monroe Doctrine, and the point of the movie seems to be that this is unqualifiedly a good thing and that it is the job of a Navy Lieutenant to determine what our foreign policy should be and then just carry it out. There is no sense of the complexity of American intervention into a tragic civil conflict and no sense of the consequences of his choices.
A.K. may have learned to care, but that does not appear to be true of Willis. He does all right with the weary, man-of-the-world, let-me-handle-this moments. But, for example, when he is called upon to give a stirring "be a man" pep talk to a shaken Nigerian who has just seen everyone he cares about killed, the best he can do is bark, "Cowboy the **** up!" Monica Bellucci may be as talented as her press reports claim, but there is no way to tell that from her kittenish performance here.
Talk to your kids about ...
- In theaters: March 7, 2003
- On DVD or streaming: June 10, 2003
- Cast: Bruce Willis, Cole Hauser, Monica Bellucci
- Director: Antoine Fuqua
- Studio: Columbia Tristar
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Run time: 118 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong war violence, some brutality and language
- Last updated: March 14, 2020
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