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Behind Enemy Lines (2001)

 -  Action | War | Drama  -  30 November 2001 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 76,163 users   Metascore: 49/100
Reviews: 404 user | 130 critic | 29 from Metacritic.com

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.

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Title: Behind Enemy Lines (2001)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
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Admiral Piquet (as Joaquim De Almeida)
...
Marko Igonda ...
...
Petty Officer Kennedy
Geoff Pierson ...
Admiral Donnelly
Aernout Van Lynden ...
Aernout Van Lynden
...
Red Crown Operator #1
...
Red Crown Operator #2 (as Shane Mikael Johnson)
Don Winston ...
Red Crown Operator #3
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Storyline

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 <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Mission: to evade and survive See more »

Genres:

Action | War | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for war violence and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Release Date:

30 November 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Im Fadenkreuz - Allein gegen alle  »

Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$400,310 (Spain) (1 February 2002)

Gross:

$59,068,786 (USA) (19 April 2002)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As Master Chief O'Malley (David Keith) leads Lt. Burnett to see Admiral Reigart, Burnett asks him if he caught the University of Tennessee's football game loss the previous Saturday. O'Malley replied, "I don't know anything about that." David Keith graduated from the University of Tennessee. See more »

Goofs

No missile in existence would be capable of chasing the F/A-18 as it is portrayed in the film. A missiles rocket motor only holds enough fuel for one pass at a target. The second missile fired in the film flies through a fireball, completes a loop, and continues to chase the F/A-18 the way a dog chases a cat. In reality, the missile would have either exploded the first time it got close to the fighter, or simply ran out of fuel. See more »

Quotes

Babic: It's not safe here. We keep moving.
Chris Burnett: No, you go. They killed my pilot because we took pictures of the graves, and I know where they are. And I am gonna get them, so he didn't die for no reason.
[Walks up to Babic and pats him on the back]
Chris Burnett: Don't follow me, it's safer here.
[Burnett leaves the area, and Babic walks off]
See more »

Connections

References Vertigo (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

That's all right
Written by Arthur Crudup
Performed by Orion
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

An average action movie that is slightly offensive in its exploitative attitude to a terrible conflict
9 November 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Lt Chris Burnett is a US Navy navigator working on a NATO mission around Bosnia. Bored with routine in the Navy and fed up flying uneventful missions to survey the peace, Burnett annoys his CO one last time by putting in his notice to quit and return to civilian life. Of course his reward is to be put on a mission on Christmas Day doing routine reconnaissance. An error in the intelligence data leads them over an no-fly zone where they see a convoy of Bosnian soldiers who should not be there and, in the process of recording them, they are attacked and shot down. Separated form Burnett, the pilot is captured and killed, leaving Burnett to evade capture for as long as he can until he can be rescued.

First of all, lets make it clear that this is not the film to come to if you are expecting anything intelligent or worthwhile about the conflict in Bosnia; if that is your aim then I would suggest maybe Saviour as a starting point but certainly not this film. However if you want a standard action movie that happens to use the bleak washed out colours of a war zone to add character as well as using the war to make lots of things go bang then this should do you – as long as you can stop your brain from thinking about the morals of using such a conflict to make a flag-waving, simplistic piece of Saturday night entertainment. The plot aspires to being some sort of serious piece about the conflict based around an action movie but it is nothing of the sort. Instead the conflict is very simplified for the purposes of leaving our brains free enough of worry and moral concern for our fellow man to be able to just enjoy things going bang. The plot sees an American soldier evade the bad guys with the aim of defeating them against the odds – it doesn't matter who the bad guys are because they are a device rather than real people – they could have been black (Black Hawk Down), Muslim (The Siege) or French (SWAT) but here they happen to be Bosnian. We don't need to worry too much about this because the film doesn't really do anything with them other than use them as the baddies to the blonde and clean cut Burnett's goodie.

I'm sure I'll get bashed as anti-American for saying things like that but that is not my intention and I'd like to think I'm just being objective; lets be honest, this is just an action movie and shouldn't be looked on as anything more. However even judged on the standards of action movies this is only an average affair, with a plot that destroys its own tension by making Burnett increasingly bullet-proof as the film goes on, leading to a climax that reminded me of the laughable ending to Rambo 3. It does have tension early on but it has blown it by the ending, and the simplistic approach to a real war is hardly helpful. The direction tries to cover the gaps by using advertising gimmicks of jump cuts and freeze frames – they aren't a replacement for content but at least they make the film a bit more interesting. Ignoring the morals of it, the use of the frozen war zone does create atmosphere really easily and it was used well.

With Hackman too old to be repeating his Bat-21 role, Wilson steps up and, aside from his usual comic stuff at the start, plays it pretty straight and has clearly aimed to be nothing more than an all-American kid just doing his duty. He aims for this and this is all he does which, in an action movie, is fine – however I kept thinking of Denis Quaid and thought how much braver he was in his choices. Hackman must have done about 2 or 3 weeks work on this film given 95% of his scenes are in one main location; he is OK but really just phones this in. The support cast is interesting in regards the Americans (people like Keith and 24's Almeida) but no effort is made on the side of the 'enemy' who are simply goons and baddies from the get go. Again it all works fine in a dumb action movie but the real setting in such a terrible conflict made me hope for more than just action fodder.

Overall this is an average action movie with a bullet-proof hero taking on baddies who look different (black, Eastern European, Muslim, whatever) to bring good to the world of evil. On this level it is nothing special although it has some nice touches of style along the way but gets silly as it comes to the end. However morally it had a responsibility to really use this stage to do more with the conflict than just use it as a backdrop. Sadly it just paints everyone as the baddies and only looks for the emotion of cheering 'our guys' on rather than feeling anything for the real people or real country. Saviour may be bleak and depressing as a film but my god it is easier to stomach at times than this was. If you want things going bang then it should do you but you'd best try to switch off your brain, morals and heart before you start watching it.


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