Behind Enemy Lines (2001)

This 14-year-old movie is starting to show its age. The special effects are the first and foremost standout for what really dates this movie (aside from a young, fit Owen Wilson). Some of the smoke effects are worse than I saw in video games that I played at the time. But, this movie isn't about effects - it's about a guy who winds up... Behind Enemy Lines!

The story is an echo of the 1980's action movies. There is no real undercurrent of intrigue or complex web of lies that the audience has to wade through. Instead, it's all about a bad boy fighter jet navigator (think of him as the Goose to Tom Cruise's Maverick) who manages to survive being shot down in airspace that he was never supposed to be in and how he then treks his way back to the freely accessible area of... let's say Eastern Europe for simplicity's sake.

His out-of-the-box thinking allows him to do what other, more disciplined navigators fail to do, and that is to discover horrible genocide in the form of mass graves. His mission was to take pictures, and that's what he does. As a result of the pictures taken, the mean soldiers on the ground chase him all through the country whose name I still can't remember. Strangely, after what seems like days of him wandering around the countryside (mind you, he'a a navigator, so he should know how to get where he's going) he winds up stumbling across the ejection seat with the evidence attached.  How exactly the chair wound up right next to the safe zone, while he and the pilot wound up miles and miles and miles the wrong direction is a point that never seems to come up.

The movie is a fun little frolic through a cat-and-mouse chase during a simpler time. Even during the movie, they hearken back to an even simpler time, with Owen commenting about how he dreamed of storming the beaches of Normandy and punching Nazis in the face. Well, this movie was all about something straight-forward - fighting Russians! Well, they aren't really Russians, but they may as well be for this movie.

Acting was decent enough
Direction was good
Effects need help
Editing has been done to confuse the audience and cover up bad effects
Story was really not the point, either

Bottom Line: Turn it on, crank up the volume, and enjoy an explosion-fest that Michael Bay didn't make.

2.5/5

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