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Behind enemy lines

Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

His only weapon is his will to survive.

A young, capable yet troublesome Lieutenant, Chris Burnett (Owen Wilson) is on one final mission before his release from the naval service. With his best friend, fellow pilot Lieutenant Michael Stackhouse (Gabriel Macht), Burnett is flying over bosnia for a routine photo run when his plane is shot down. While Burnett radios for help, a Serbian para-military leader murders Stackhouse.

Off-course, lost and confused in enemy territory, Burnett makes his way toward the rescue point and stumbles upon a mass grave of Muslims, an atrocious crime committed by the Serbian Army. He realises that he had photographed the grave while flying over it, which led to him getting shot down and Stackhouse's murder. With the encouragement of his commanding officer, Admiral Leslie Reigart (Gene Hackman), Burnett must escape a ferocious pursuit by the Serbian Army and navigate through volatile mine fields, in order to save himself and expose the heinous war crime.

Theatrical propaganda posters

Behind enemy lines image

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film action military US Navy Seal Bosnia Balkans Serbia war crime ethnic cleansing aircraft carrier evade escape

Persons of interest

  • Owen Wilson .... Lieutenant Chris Burnett
  • Gene Hackman .... Admiral Leslie Reigart
  • Gabriel Macht .... Lieutenant Michael Stackhouse
  • David Keith
  • Shane Johnson
  • Vladimir Mashkov
  • Charles Malik Whitfield
  • Scott O'Grady .... Author: Return with honor
  • Jeff Coplon .... Author: Return with honor
  • Zak Penn .... Screenwriter
  • John Moore .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

Gosh, if it weren't for the USA the whole world would never be able to get anything done.

Behind enemy lines is more a "USA is number 1" propaganda flick than it is an action film about rescuing downed pilots. It also has nothing to do with Lieutenant Scott O'Grady, the USA pilot who was shot down in the same conflict and survived by eating grass.

Owen Wilson is surprisingly good as the unlikely hero, pulling off the non-comedic role very well (compare it to Hansel in Zoolander) and without being anything like an Arnie or a Stallone. He's an ordinary guy in an extraordinary situation.

As for the rest of the film, it's cliché heaven. The maverick pilot who's lost his faith in the system... the crusty boss who's trying to run his part of the war while stuck with his own boss who's too busy playing politics to play war... the evil foreigners who chase after the blond-haired, blue-eyed, white-skinned hero to try and cover up their nefarious deeds and who have no sense of morality... the list goes on but if you switch off and let these little minor quibbles zip past like an F-18 you can still have a fun time.

Media intelligence (DVD)

  • Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Disc: Single side, single layer
  • Features:
    • Commentaries:
      • John Moore, Martin Smith (Editor)
      • John Davis and Wick Godfrey (Producers)
    • Deleted scenes: 4 with optional commentary
    • HBO behind-the-scenes featurette
    • Pre-vis ejection sequence with optional commentary
    • Additional main title sequence with optional commentary
    • Alternate "Take off" sequence with optional commentary
  • Languages: English
  • Picture: Widescreen 16:9
  • Subtitles: English captions

Media intelligence (VHS)

  • HBO behind-the-scenes featurette

Security censorship classification

M (Medium level violence, low level coarse language)

Surveillance time

101 minutes (1:41 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 31 January 2002
DVD rental: 24 July 2002
VHS rental: 24 July 2002
DVD retail: 13 November 2002
VHS retail: 13 November 2002

Cinema surveillance images

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