Behind Enemy Lines
**.5 GM
Starring: Owen Wilson, Gene Hackman, David Keith, Gabriel Macht, Charles Malik Whitfield, Vladimir Mashkov


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Owen Wilson does not your typical action hero make, which is why this movie isn't quite as bad as it should be.

This is a pretty run-of-the-mill action flick most likely cranked out just a little faster than it needed to be to try and get a hold of the rah-rah-America market while the gettin's good. Owen Wilson is Lt. Burnett, who's a seven year Navy veteran itchin' for actual combat. Gene Hackman is Admiral Reigart, who thinks Burnett's a whiny little jackass, so he sends him on a recon mission. Of course, that recon mission gets shot down, Burnett's co-pilot Stackhouse gets aced, and Burnett has to stay alive until A-Goddamned-merica can come pull his fat out da fire.

People applauded when A-Fuckin'-merica came to his rescue. A guy tried to start a "USA" chant. So the target audience of this flick is indeed being reached, and there's not a hell of a lot of point in tossing criticism at this flick, since obviously no one gives a rat's patoot. But for the sake of quality control, let's have a go at it anyway.

First up, ease off the hand-held shots, bumblefuck. I didn't get sick during "Blair Witch" and this crap was bothering me. Secondly, constant flashbacks to earlier portions of the movie, overly-stylized or not, are a good sign that it's being dumbed way the fuck down. Also, Gene Hackman isn't given a hell of a lot to do and, of course, the script sucks, which is a malady more often than not evidenced by the need to have all sorts of redundant epilogue text at the end.

Saving grace in this movie - Owen Wilson. He's such an oddball choice to play this role that his weird manner manages to entertain and perpetuate the illusion that something interesting and different may soon start happening. Unfortunately, it never really does. Call me unpatriotic, but if I have to love this movie to keep the terrorists from winning, we might be in trouble.

Now, put David Keith and Keith David into the same movie, and maybe it'll be interesting.

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