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.
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>
The film is based loosely on the experiences of USAF Capt. Scott O'Grady, who was shot down near the town of Mrkonjic Grad in northern Bosnia in June 1995 and was stranded in Serb-held territory for six days before being rescued by US Marines. O'Grady brought a lawsuit against 20th Century-Fox for damages to his character. He claims he didn't curse as much and never disobeyed orders. See more »
When the "shiny new digital camera" is fired up on the plane, there is a close up shot that clearly shows the circuit board to the right of the disk, the right row of silicon chips on this circuit board are all very obviously burnt out / destroyed. See more »
Master Chief Tom O'Malley:
[Reigart makes his final decision on rescuing Burnett, despite doing so against orders]
You will lose your command for this.
So be it! I'm not gonna let that kid die out there while we sit around on this ship!
See more »
Let's see. Take one standard action film involving Americans, add in a new baddie for them to triumph over, and have the baddies act atrociously and brutally, then let the good guys be victorious in the end.
That about sums up BEL. It has reasonable special effects, a plot that is simple and oh so seen before, and a square jawed handsome hero (although, looking at Wilson's nose, not that handsome).
People have already remarked on various inaccuracies and symbolism such as the angel in the midst of war etc. Instead of going over those I'd like to point out the overriding message this film taught me.
That it's OK to disobey orders. Disobey them in such a way as to get your best friend killed. But that's OK, because no matter what happens when you disobey orders, it all comes out good in the end. You feel better about yourself and you'll bring the bad guys to book. So don't worry about your best friend. He was only a plot device anyway.
One thing is certain, though. As long as there is conflict in the world, there will be a Hollywood movie to glorify it and vilify the enemy.
And just who were the enemy? The Bosnians? The Serbs? The Croats? The film didn't seem very certain itself and neither was I, even at the end.
Particularly laughable (and somewhat disturbing) in this no brainer action film was the dreadful end sequence, where we get to find out (via the wonder of the subtitled explanation) what happens to the main characters.
Now, call me old-fashioned, but such final scene "what they did next" stuff in my book is reserved for two types of film - comedy spoofs and documentaries. This film is certainly no comedy, so the appearance of these notes, to me, would seem to imply that the movie was in part based in reality. I find this disturbing simply because there are any number of extremely dumb people out there that would see such final comments and assume the film was, after all, based on true events. And it's this kind of "it happened like this" cinema (which most often involves Americans saving the world) that concerns me most. U571 is another, now notorious, example of this. Apparently its true that history is written by the victors......
As for the movie, the opening scenes are the most rewarding. Once the movie passes into its middle it becomes a bit dull and the ending, as others have observed, is more like a Rambo film and gets quite farcical.
The movie is best watched whilst a few drinks shy of inebriation. You'll enjoy it more and not notice the foolishness (hopefully).
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