Behind Enemy Lines

I was a bit reluctant to see Behind Enemy Lines since I dislike mindless propaganda, but the movie makes some important points while still putting forth a valuable message. And it has some great action sequences to boot.

Chris Burnett (Owen Wilson) is a cocky Navy pilot running surveillance missions in Bosnia, taking off from the USS Carl Vinson commanded by Leslie Reigart (Gene Hackman). During what should've been a routine mission on Christmas Eve, he, along with his partner (Gabriel Macht), is shot down over enemy territory by a Serb rebel group for witnessing something they shouldn't have. After the rebel groups executes his partner, Burnett is ruthless pursued by one of their trackers (Vladimir Mashkov).

The movie is worth watching on the big screen for its great action sequences. The first part of the film where the plane is attacked by surface-to-air missiles will get your adrenaline pumping. The different chase scenes are all pretty good. The film's visuals are breathtaking at times, and the pacing is extremely tight. The actors do a decent job, but this isn't a movie where the acting matters.

Given the current war in Afghanistan, the comments made in the film, both with regards to a "cowboy" attitude that threatens world peace, and the same attitude of defying authority to stand for ideals espoused in America, is particularly apt (see also my review for Spy Game). While I consider the film itself to be pretty much a mindless action flick, the philosophy represented by the characters is colinear with my viewpoint. Rationally, it is indeed true that actions similar to saving a lone pilot could put us all in the middle of third world war. On the other hand, I do think certain principles matter above all else, even if it means going against the chain of command. It's something to keep in mind as the politicians pass unconstitutional laws here, and look the other way when "allies" exercise their power in a brutal manner.

Movie ramblings || Ram Samudrala ||