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My hopes were high for this movie. The War between Georgia and South Ossetia/Russia in August of 2008 would seem to be a great background to a well-plotted, carefully crafted film that captures all the intrigue of the Caucasus. Since the Caucasus have always been a nest of ethnic divisions, political double-dealing and vicious banditry I would think any decent screenwriter and director could piece together a fairly intense thriller, I was so wrong. 5 Days of War is a twisted train wreck of special effects laden action and blatant propaganda with a parade of terrible acting. This film was disappointing on many levels. About 40 minutes into the film I realized I was watching a $20,000,000 piece of pro-Georgian anti-Russian propaganda. If anyone does a little research on this war they will clearly see that both sides committed illegal acts under international law. Georgia is actually blamed for triggering the war by using heavy artillery on a city unprovoked which killed civilians, Russian Peacekeepers and damaged large tracts of the city. Once the war began some Ossetia militias fighting with the Russians committed acts of ethnic cleansing and were not stopped by the Russian Military or Government. Shame on them and shame on Georgia for bombarding a city. I do not have a dog in this fight, I think that the problems of that part of the world should be answered by the countries and governments of that region. It is obvious that the filmmakers feel that we should clearly be supporting Georgia with their charismatic leader Mikheil Saakashvili played by Andy Garcia who is portrayed as a Georgian Thomas Jefferson or JFK. Why the hell did they use Andy Garcia anyway? This movie does nothing to help the outsider with the complexities of the actual situation. I want to know what the target audience was for the filmmakers. I was insulted by this film. Why would they take such a complex and historical subject and simplify it down to this? Westerners are natural allies of the peace-loving, compassionate Georgians therefore the obvious "Bad Guys" are the Russians and South Ossetians who bring murder, terror and misery upon the progressive Georgians. The world isn't so black and white and even us dimwitted moviegoers can appreciate the intricacies of politics in the Caucasus. The protagonist of this wreck is an unlikeable American journalist (Rupert Friend in a career ending role) who jumps head first into danger because of his troubled past. He is surrounded by a cadre of American/British journalists (Val Kilmer, Kenneth Cranham who are both wasted as ridiculous caricatures) who drink hard, take big risks and are always crying about how nobody cares about what is going on in the world. At all times they are protected and working directly on behalf of a group of saintly Georgian soldiers. They do not even pretend to be impartial and objective. The contrived role of Tatia (Emmanuelle Chriqui) is another low point in a film filled with an excruciating level of inaccuracies, clichés and thoughtless dialogue. Special effects are strong, location looks beautiful but the storyline and fact every major character is played by an American or British actor and not native Georgians/Russians is thoughtless and insulting (insulted again). ONLY WASTE YOUR TIME ON THIS FILM IF YOU HAVE TIME TO WASTE AND REALLY WANT TO HAVE YOUR INTELLIGENCE QUESTIONED. A TRAVESTY.
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