Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
USA, 2001. Orion Pictures, Motion Picture Corporation of America. Story by Jim Thomas, John Thomas, Screenplay by David Veloz, Zak Penn. Cinematography by Brendan Galvin. Produced by John Davis. Music by Don Davis. Production Design by Nathan Crowley. Costume Design by George L. Little. Film Editing by Paul Martin Smith.
Taut, exciting thriller about a gung-ho Air Force soldier (Owen Wilson) who gets shot down over restricted territory during a ceasefire in early 90s Bosnia. Commander Gene Hackman wants to send a team right away to save the lone traveler, but the search and rescue mission for one man who was flying outside his allotted mission could endanger a peace treaty that, once disrupted, could result in a full-blown war. Wilson’s casually glib performance in the lead makes this obvious propaganda so much easier to swallow, his self-effacing humour and lazy swagger all going against the square-cut, on-target caricatures we have gotten used to in this genre. Hackman is less successful at shaking off the shackles of expectation from his role, giving a performance that is an easy spin-off of his far superior turn in Crimson Tide. The last third gets extremely ridiculous (resolve all complications with lots of explosions and loud music), but until then the action is jam packed with lots of fun and extreme tension.