- A disillusioned pilot shot down over war-torn Bosnia goes on the run from the local military and an assassin, as his commanding officer risks all to save 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.—Jon Reeves <email@example.com>
- Lt. Chris Burnett has lost faith in his job in the Navy and wants to get out, and is even forced to do a reconnaissance mission with his friend Lt. Jeremy Stackhouse over Bosnia. During the mission, they fly their jet off course to check out a suspicious target that turns out to be the site of a mass grave that contains bodies of Bosnian Muslims. The main perpetrator of the massacre, Gen. Miroslav Lokar, has the plane shot down in order to avoid having the plane obtaining evidence of the massacre. Stackhouse ends up getting killed, while Burnett finds himself alone on the run from Lokar's ruthless soldiers. Burnett's commanding officer, Rear Admiral Leslie Reigart, has trouble gaining approval from his own commanding officers to carry out a search-and-rescue mission to save Burnett. From encountering a major battle in a war-torn town, to mine fields, to Serb soldiers seeking the pilot, and to a highly skilled sniper, will Burnett be able to escape Bosnia, or will he suffer the same fate of his comrade?—Sam
- As the war in Bosnia comes to an end, the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70), under the command of Admiral Leslie Reigart (Gene Hackman), that is stationed in the Adriatic Sea, along with the rest of the NATO forces in Bosnia, are preparing to withdraw. However, Flight Navigator Lieutenant Chris Burnett (Owen Wilson), and Pilot Lieutenant Jeremy Stackhouse (Gabriel Macht) are assigned a reconnaissance mission over Bosnia. During the reconnaissance mission, they spot suspicious activity in the no-fly zone that NATO aircraft are prohibited from entering. Burnett persuades Stackhouse to fly their F/A-18F Super Hornet off-course to get a close look on the target and they take photographs of the area. However, both men do not realize that they photographed mass graves, and Serbs in the area spot the jet. The local Bosnian Serb Army commander, General Miroslav Lokar (Olek Krupa), is involved in a secret genocidal campaign against the local Muslim population. Not wanting the mass graves to be discovered, Lokar orders the plane to be shot down.
Despite trying to outmaneuver the missiles shot at them, their aircraft is hit and they are forced to eject. Both Burnett and Stackhouse parachute into Serb-held territory along the Bosnia-Serbia border, with the latter being injured. Burnett goes to higher ground to contact Reigart for help. Stackhouse, however, is captured by a Serb patrol under Lokar's command. As Lokar interrogates him, Stackhouse insists that he was on a solo mission. As the Serb patrol moves on, Stackhouse is deliberately executed by one of Lokar's right-hand men and, apparently, his personal assassin, Sasha (Vladimir Mashkov). Burnett, who noticed the Serb patrol and was observing their interrogation of Stackhouse, involuntarilly screams in horror, alerting the Serbs to his location. Wanting Burnett dead as well, Lokar sends his second in command, Colonel Bazda (Marko Igonda), and Sasha to find him.
Burnett contacts Reigart on high ground to inform him of what happened. Reigart orders Burnett to move to a certain location in order to be extracted. However, Admiral Piquet (Joaquim de Almeida), commander of NATO's naval forces and Reigarts superior officer, tells Reigart that the shooting down of Burnett's jet and any attempt to rescue the navigator in the no-fly zone could throw Bosnia into more civil war, thus hampering NATO's withdrawal from the nation. Therefore, as Burnett moves to the designated extraction point, Reigart tells him that he must move to a location outside of the de-militarized zone in order to be rescued. Piquet also has Reigart's team stand down from the rescue operation, choosing to use his own team for the extraction instead.
Immediately after being informed, Burnett sees a Serb patrol that is looking for him. With the patrol in pursuit, Burnett runs. Burnett falls into the very mass graves that he and Stackhouse had photographed and hides under a dead body. As the Serb patrol gets to the graves, they inspect the area for Burnett, but then withdraw. Burnett, horrified by what he sees, continues to run. Reigart sees some of this on an infrared satellite feed, and contacts the media to inform them of Burnett's situation, much to Piquet's anger.
As he continues to the new extraction zone, Burnett has to make his way through an abandoned factory which is booby-trapped with tripwired antipersonnel landmines. When a small Serb patrol discovers and tries to pursue Burnett, one of the militants accidentally steps on a tripwire, killing the entire patrol and setting off a chain reaction of exploding mines. Burnett manages to survive,by running as fast as he can and keeping just ahead of the exploding mines, and is unaware that Sasha is following his tracks.
Later on, Burnett takes a rest in a forest. However, as he has a flashback of Stackhouse's death, including the fact that Sasha is in the area, Burnett wakes up and keeps running. Burnett manages to stop a pickup truck with Bosniak guerrillas, among them a young militant named Babic (Kamil Kollarik). The Bosniaks offer Burnett a ride and head for the town of Ha which is in the safe zone. However, Serbs under the command of Lokar take over the town, partly because they know Burnett is heading there. As Serbian forces take over the town they believe they have found Burnett's body following a firefight, but he switched uniforms with a Serb militant and escaped.
The Serbians parade the corpse wearing Burnett's uniform and broadcast it on the news, claiming that Burnett had been shot by Bosniak forces to prevent the American rescue unit from retrieving Burnett. Their ruse works and when Burnett and Babic arrive at the next evacuation point, they watch helplessly as the helicopter turns away. Burnett, disappointed, then notices a landmark that he parachuted down nearby, as this is where his ejection seat landed. Burnett wants to return to the site in order to prove to his carrier group that he is still alive as well as obtaining the evidence of Lokar's crimes. Knowing he is putting himself in danger, Burnett orders Babic to leave. He returns to his ejection seat and reactivates the rescue beacon. Even though the carrier group notices Burnett's signal, he also alerts the Serbs to his location.
Knowing that doing so would result in being relieved from command, Reigart prepares a task force aimed to rescue Burnett. Meanwhile, General Lokar, who is aware that Burnett is alive, sends both Bazda and Sasha alone to kill Burnett. Enroute to Burnett's location, Bazda steps on a landmine. Burnett hears the explosion and is alerted.
Sasha takes a position and sees Burnett hiding behind the ejection seat. However, as Sasha hears the approaching American helicopters coming to rescue Burnett, he walks toward the ejection seat. However, as he gets to the ejection seat, Sasha realizes that he was tricked. Burnett jumps out of a snowdrift behind Sasha and shoots him several times but fails to kill Sasha, who gets off a shot of his own but only grazes Burnett's shoulder. They engage in a hand-to-hand fight until Burnett pulls a flare and stabs Sasha in the chest with it; killing him. Immediately after killing Sasha, Lokar arrives with a platoon of BMP-1 armored personnel carriers and infantry, and begin to fire upon Burnett; who runs to a nearby angel statue. UH-1 Huey helicopters of the USMC finally arrive and fire on the Serbs. Just yards away from the rescue helicopter, Burnett turns and runs back to the ejection chair to retrieve the hard drive containing the photos of the mass graves. Noticing what is happening Lokar tries to shoot Burnett, but Burnett runs back to the helicopter amid the gunfire and once on board, the task force withdraws back to the aircraft carrier.
After the rescue, he gives the photographic evidence to Reigart explaining it as the reason why Stackhouse was killed. The evidence of Lokar's war crimes put the general on trial. Reigart is relieved from command for his actions and is given a desk job in Washington DC, but chooses to retire with the respect of his sailors for the sacrifice he made to recover the downed pilot. Burnett, who earlier wanted to resign from active duty, decides to remain in the Navy.
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