A Navy navigator is shot down over enemy territory and is ruthlessly pursued by a secret police enforcer and the opposing troops. Meanwhile his commanding officer goes against orders in an attempt to rescue him.
A group of Vietnam War veterans re-unite to rescue one of their own left behind and taken prisoner by the Vietnamese. Led by his father (a retired Marine Colonel) and supported by a rich ... See full summary »
Jewish brothers in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe escape into the Belarussian forests, where they join Russian resistance fighters and endeavor to build a village in order to protect themselves and about 1,000 Jewish non-combatants.
Fighter navigator Chris Burnett wants out: he was looking for something more than the boring recon missions he's been flying. He finds himself flying the lone Christmas day mission over war-torn Bosnia. But when he talks pilot Stackhouse into flying slightly off-course to check out an interesting target, the two get shot down. Burnett is soon alone, trying to outrun a pursuing army, while commanding officer Reigert finds his rescue operation hamstrung by politics, forcing Burnett to run far out of his way. Written by
Jon Reeves <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Living close to one of Europe's largest American military bases, I've met a fair few U.S. Navy flyers, and none of them looked anything like Tom Cruise or Val Kilmer. Just regular blokes doing their day-job and not the square-jawed all-American hero types at all. Which is why I though that Owen Wilson was actually very well cast in this role. He was so, well ordinary!!! The movie itself is standard Hollywood action fare. Pretty predictable stuff really, but fairly entertaining escapism nonetheless. As usual the bad guys (in this case the Serbs) are portrayed as one-dimensional thugs and all of them are lousy shots with a gun. Another reviewer on this page has said that he hasn't seen any action movie hero dodge as many bullets and rockets since Rambo back in the 80s, and that just about sums it up perfectly. And the American cause is (quite naturally because this is Hollywood) a noble one. The film has its share of powerful scenes the F18 shoot-down scene and Wilson's discovery of the mass grave in the forest in particular. But it also has its share of silliness too, the rescue scene in particular being implausibly over-the-top, incorporating as it does a mixture of Rambo-style bullet-dodging, 007-style cliff-leaping stunt work, and the inability of several BMP armored vehicles and massed Serb gunmen to shoot down (or even hit) three hovering American helicopters at very close range.
The supposedly `clever' fast-zoom and CGI camera work is also headache-inducing at times, and really should have been toned down a bit. Unfortunately, this style of filming seems to be becoming increasingly fashionable and is often done just for the sake of it. And this film is no exception.
Overall I'd rate this movie as a good 6 out of 10. I won't be rushing out to add the DVD to my collection, but I might watch it again if and when it appears on satellite TV.
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