Behind Enemy Lines

Another pro-American policy military movie that never questions the motives of American policy, sticking faithfully to the Washington party line.

This time the set piece is Bosnia, where the bloodthirsty Serbs have slaughtered thousands of Slavs in mass graves, and the canned MTV plot is that when a US pilot stumbles across them, the world realises how evil the Serbs are (personified by the cold blooded villain, a small-eyed sniper). So America has to Save The Day again.

There's a touch of disillusionment early on when hero Chris Burnett (Wilson) asks why the military's loyalties seem to change every day (not like the old days). But the black and white good/evil dichotomy is more than set by the triumphant climax when America blows away another Nazi-like despotic regime.

As America's sponsorship of bloodshed around the world increases or continues, it's hard to disassociate a simple movie plot with all the warped politics as their action movies become more political - almost as if a White House press agent has advised on the script to make sure it follows the official policy line.

Casting the politics aside, it wasn't too bad a movie. Pilot Burnett is shot down over Bosnia in a region where the Serbs have got something to hide - mass graves. So as to not upset the treaty, the stereotypical buffoon superiors don't want to send a rescue mission and upset the locals. All except for the rogue admiral (Hackman) who wants to bring the boy home. Cue chases through desolate and snowy Slavic landscapes as the powers that be lead him from one situation and pickup point to another, the Serb killers right behind him.

The direction is very 'music video' and there's too much of it. Fast tracking shots almost detract from the action on the screen (particularly when we're only watching dialogue). Some things didn't quite fit, but all in all the effects were good if run of the mill action flick.

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