2001 film Behind Enemy Lines, a cult classic action film set against the backdrop of an Eastern European conflict. The film stars Owen Wilson and Gene Hackman in lead roles.
Lost and Found
Hollywood appears to have moved on from the conventional war action genre in recent years. There are exceptions of course, like Tom Cruise’s 2022 blockbuster Top Gun: Maverick, where a film offers pure unbridled entertainment loaded with slick action sequences and stunning visuals. For today’s Lost and Found podcast, we take a look at the 2001 film Behind Enemy Lines, a cult classic action film set against the backdrop of an Eastern European conflict. The film stars Owen Wilson and Gene Hackman in lead roles.
Much like Tom Cruise’s Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell in the Top Gun films, Owen plays the role of a skilled yet pompous fighter pilot Lieutenant Chris Burnett in this film. Burnett’s brash attitude eventually lands him in trouble and he is reprimanded by his commanding officer, Rear Admiral Leslie Reigart, played by Hollywood legend Gene Hackman. After forcing Burnett to spend months on the sidelines, Reigart eventually sends his best pilot on a reconnaissance mission into a demilitarised Bosnian territory. To the shock and horror of Burnett and his co-pilot, they discover paramilitary activity in the region and signs of a possible genocide and decide to gather evidence. However, in this pursuit, they are shot down by the Bosnian Serb paramilitary soldiers. Burnett’s co-pilot is eventually captured and killed, but Burnett manages to find temporary refuge.
The film’s narrative then follows Burnett’s fight for survival behind enemy lines as he desperately attempts to contact his base, the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson. To further complicate matters, an assassin is sent after him by enemy forces to track him down and eliminate him so that he is unable to share incriminating evidence with the outside world. While the film may defy logic at times and may even lean on over-the-top set pieces, it is a throwback action thriller with excellent entertainment value. And to its credit, some of the action sequences have withstood the test of time and aged better than some of the more recent superhero films.
For Owen Wilson fans, this would be a chance to see the actor in a rare action-packed avatar, much unlike the characters he’s played in the countless romcoms.
So if you are in the mood for an entertaining action film, Behind Enemy Lines directed by John Moore, would be an excellent choice. The film is available to rent on YouTube and Google Play.
Well that's the Lost and Found episode for today, until the next one it's your host Nikhil signing out.
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