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8.15.2006

Behind Enemy Lines


Released in 2001, Behind Enemy Lines is based on the experiences of Air Force Captain Scott O' Grady. It centers on the Bosnian war and an aircraft carrier during it's final stages of NATO deployment. During a routine surveillence flight, Navigator Chris Burnett, (Owen Wilson) and pilot Jeremy Stackhouse, (Gabriel Macht) unwisely enter a no-fly zone to investigate radar activity. What they discover and photograph is a group of active Serbian forces. But after they buzz the group and photograph the activity, their F/A-18F Super Hornet is brought down with a couple of SAMs. Because the Serbs are engaged in both a peace process and secret ethnic cleansing, (polite phrase for murder), they really do not want the Americans to ecsape. It would expose their violent misdeeds. And thus the adventure unfolds.

This is a tight adventure drama, that sheds light on a conflict many of us know little about. Owen treats the Burnett character with determination and humor in just the right doses, keeping the story and action moving forward. Workhorse Gene Hackman, so often cast as the stubborn outcast determined to do right, plays the frustrated American Aircraft Admiral Leslie Reigart. The tension increases as Reigart is repeatedly rebuffed by UN officials, preventing a US military-sponsored rescue of the hunted American navigator. It is also the Hackman character that keeps Burnett from giving up on his quest for freedom, as he stays just out of reach of the pursuing Serbs. (They communicate via two-way radio frequency.)

I commend this film for it's action and ability to express the horror of ethnic cleansing without explicit graphic imagery. Solid rental for anyone hungry for action adventure.

12 comments:

joy said...

I saw this not to long ago on cable, have to say I really liked it. Never thought much of Gene Hackman, till I saw him in Royal Tenenbaums. It completley made me love him so much, that when-ever I catch a movie of his on cable, I now watch something I would never have watched before, thus this movie. Great review, flix!

prunella jones said...

I usually don't like military type movies and never give them a chance. One exception was the movie Blackhawk Down which instantly sucked me in. It was so good I actually read the book and loved it as well.

Gene Hackman is always watchable, isn't he?

kookla100 said...

I met Gene Hackman on an airplane once when I was in my 20s. They accidentally overbooked my flight and he offered me a seat next to him in first class. He was totally charming, really funny and I've been crushing on him ever since!

prettykitty said...
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pelegrim said...
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pelegrim said...

They sure don't make ethinic cleansing flicks like they used to, but this one's an exception.

prettykitty said...

you've been MIA, buddy. are you enjoying the last few days of summer or what?

GetFlix said...

I agree Gene Hackman is perhaps one of our best actors, Joy.

Blackhawk Down is an awesome film, Pru. I've seen it twice.

Kook, that sounds fun!! What an experience.

Pele, it's a tough issue for people to understand, but I think this film finds a good balance.

Kitty, it's those summertime blues are hitting me. But I am working on it!!

prettykitty said...

tell me about it. between the two films (which came out at the same time) which did you like best: saving private ryan or the thin red line? i want to see what your answer is before i tell you mine!

prettykitty said...

*crickets* the suspense is killing me! haha

GetFlix said...

Kitty, I haven't seen either of those two films!!

prettykitty said...

well that makes it really hard to choose!

saving private ryan got all the hype because it was a spielberg film. the thin red line was pretty much ignored, but is the better of the two. while ryan is an epic war movie, red line is a smaller film about the effects of war. it's directed by terence malick who directed some films back in the 70s, like days of heaven, badlands and dirty harry (all super cool flicks) and most recently, the colin farrell movie the new world. thin red line was the first film he directed in 20 years. after i saw it, i had to rent all of his films to see his work. check it out next time it comes on the tube.