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A young journalist, a seasoned cameraman and a discredited war correspondent embark on an unauthorized mission to find the no. 1 war criminal in Bosnia; they find themselves in serious jeopardy when they are mistaken as a CIA hit squad and their target decides to come after them. Written by
Without getting into plot-revealing details, this movie plays to clichés and stereotypes for about an hour and then truly falls apart. For the first 80 minutes or so the script is more or less based on events written up by journalist Scott Anderson for the October 2000 issue of Esquire, and then in the end it falls off the cliff towards a wholly imaginary, unconvincing and throughly uninspired all's-well-that-ends-well conclusion. The first part is relatively watchable but meddles too much with the number, motives and characters of the protagonists to ring true. It fails from the very beginning to convey why war journalists would choose to pursue such a dangerous profession, what kinds of personal relationships they might develop with Bosnian and Serbian locals, how they would respond when coming across dead bodies of unknown victims or people known to them, or how they would act when faced immediately after with the perpetrators of ethnic cleansing. Instead, we are supposed to think that war journalism is mostly about thrill-seeking and being recognized "in the whole world" as "the best" at your game, or that courage and resolve in the face of life-threatening danger can only come from a desire to avenge personal loss of the most hackneyed kind. These same journalists are apparently incapable of discretion but instead have loud and revealing conversations in places where they could easily be overheard, while the incredibly terrible leader of the evildoers is surrounded by psychopathic henchmen, yet easily caught off guard and chased around the landscape by unarmed pursuers (who seem to somehow know the local forest a lot better than he does). The concluding part of the story does not even try to come up with any detailed plot or dialog, but relies instead on voice-overs, fast-forwards and wholly trivial lines lacking any genuine punch. The one aspect that struck me as well done is the documentary-like cinematography and imagery, with rich colors and relatively gritty contrast.
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