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Movie review for the film Behind Enemy Lines starring Owen Wilson and Gene Hackman. 
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Note: This film has a PG-13 rating.

Junkie Rating:

This film received 2 pops out of 4 pops.This film received 2 pops out of 4 pops.This film received 2 pops out of 4 pops.This film received 2 pops out of 4 pops.

 

Cast and Credits

John Moore
(Director)
Owen Wilson 
(Lt. Chris Burnett)
Gene Hackman
(Adm. Reigart) 
Gabriel Macht
(Lt. Michael Stackhouse) 
 

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      This is what you call a propaganda picture.  While the filmmakers may not have intended to make a film that would make people join the marines, they did just that.  Well, accept I know enough to know when I'm being manipulated so I don't make the biggest decision of my life and go to war.  Don't get me wrong, this is a well made film and the shots and angles are fantastic, but the last 1/3 of the movie made me feel extremely manipulated.  And I hate that.

      In the beginning of the movie (which is based on a true story albeit loosely), there is a lot of anti-military talk by Chris Burnett (Owen Wilson) and by the climax he completely changes his tune and everyone lives happily ever after.  It's pure manipulation.  I don't like being told what to do by people I do not know.  To say this movie is a little jingoistic is an understatement.  Anyway, enough of this, lets move on.

      The major players in the cast are Owen Wilson, Gene Hackman, and Gabriel Macht.  There are others, but I don't recognize them, and don't know much about them, so I won't talk about them other than saying the typical phrase, "they were great".

      This is Owen Wilson's first major non-comedic role, and he pulls it off quite nicely.  And because of that I won't tolerate any Owen dissing...okay fine, speak your mind, but I doubt anyone thinks he was bad anyway, and Gene Hackman is well...um...typical Gene Hackman...mucho kudos to him and Owen.  Gabriel Macht (NBC's "The Others", and "American Outlaws") does gives an outstanding performance, and I was wishin' for more!

      On to the most important aspect: the camera work. This is the first film by John Moore and he is mostly known for his music videos and commercials, albeit not by me, but then again that doesn't matter. With the help of cinematographer Brendan Galvin and editor Paul Martin Smith, John Moore successfully pulls off some pretty nifty effects. I loved the slow and fast motion shots and that "body-cam" shot was excellent! FYI, that's when the actor wears a harness with a camera attached, pointing directly at the actor. Excuse the pun, but it's a really in-your-face shot!

      In other words, this is a well made movie by a relatively unknown filmmaker and I enjoyed it...I would have enjoyed it more if it wasn't so manipulative, but what can you do?


     --
James ( 2 1/2 out of 4 pops )

 

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Other Junkie's opinions.....

      Billy Ray ( 1 1/2 out of 4 pops )

      If you read the short comment in the Trailer Trash section of this website, it will pretty much sum up the entire feeling of "Behind Enemy Lines"--"What, all of a sudden we're suppose to take Owen Wilson seriously?"  This film is nothing new, and though it has the occasional moment of entertainment value, overall, it is just another dumb action flick designed to draw in the guys and turn off the girls.  Gene Hackman is convincing in his role, as he always is, but Owen Wilson interrupts tense action sequences with humor and wit that just don't belong.   After decades of action flicks, someone finally decided to use "Behind Enemy Lines"--it seems like someone should have already used it.   Anyway, if you're choosing between this film and "Spy Game", then I recommend this one over the latest Redford disaster.  However, if you can slip over to "Texas Rangers" or "Affair of the Necklace", by all means do so and avoid an adventure in mediocrity.

      Matt ( 3 out of 4 pops )

      Is this a shallow, superficial, live-action version of "GI Joe"?  You bet it is.  But as long as you go along for the ride, you'll have an awesome time!  Throughout the course of the film, it gets harder and harder to believe that Owen Wilson can dodge a couple THOUSAND bullets without a scratch, but the film moves at such a fast pace that it hardly matters.  Wilson, who's a fairly talented comic actor, noticeably struggles with conveying dramatic emotions.  Gene Hackman HAS played this role (the tough-as-nails Commander) before, but he's mastered it and it's still a joy to watch his tell off his fellow officers.  This is no less trashy than the standard action flick, but it makes a great time at the movies!