BEHIND ENEMY LINES     - A Narada Film Review
Action From BEHIND ENEMY LINES, Directed by John Moore, Produced by John Davis.

      Gene Hackman has had a lot of experience "behind enemy lines" over the years -   ( UNCOMMON VALOR -1981,   and   BAT-21 - 1988.) , and as a result, most of the local movie-buffs didn't have high expectations regarding new and/or wonderous content as they sat down after the King's Anthem.
         BEHIND ENEMY LINES was based on a true story, however, the irony here is the action takes place in territory not nominally under control of any 'enemy' as per the newly-in-place peace arrangement, so technically there were no enemy "lines" to be behind.   The dialog is often forced and exaggerated - most notably, the recurring animosity between Admiral Reigart (Gene Hackman) and the NATO commander.   Dialog and acting was so overly dramatized here that the viewer is led to believe the US fleet was on the brink of war with NATO.   Further, the script writers and editors are in need of some professional technical advice (see 'Least enduring line or phrase', below).
         The exacerbated use of the hand-held action cam was, to be kind, irritating. But elsewhere, the photography was excellent.  Owen Wilson performs laudably as 'Chris Burnett', the downed Navy navigator.  The local 'Bosnian' actors performed more than convincingly.  Although there were a couple of hokey shoot-em-up scenes, the flow was maintained and the action was generally realistic and engrossing.  Worth a watch, even if only to see an old pro like Hackman at work.   --Nevertheless, one wishes at this stage in his career, Hackman would wait for a more substantial part - like THE CONVERSATION, or THE FRENCH CONNECTION, or UNFORGIVEN or.........

       LEAST enduring Line Or Phrase:   "What are his coordinates ?    Triangulate him !"          ( * They are talking about a person who had just completed a radio transmission from a predetermined rendezvous point and, of course, they would have KNOWN his exact coordinates.   Further, a person cannot be 'triangulated' if he is no longer transmitting.)

  Reviewed by Narada for Bangkok Eyes - 19 February 2002

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