Behind Enemy Lines

I am currently quite upset with the magazine I work for. I wrote a very negative review about a film I felt very negatively about – in other words, I told the truth. However, the magazine did not print the piece I put a lot of time and effort into writing – seriously, the film was painful to watch. My job as a journalist was to tell the truth. The magazine’s job should have been to print my pretentious, biased viewpoint in its full 400 word glory, but my crusade was cut short by the iron claw of Marxism. Here are some episotolary emails:

Editor:

I have just received 5 copies of Behind Enemy Lines to give away!!!

Whoopsie a review slating it then wow do you want to win a copy! Lol

You have left me with a nightmare here btw

Me:

I can’t lie – it sucked… though maybe there are readers with a morbid curiosity!

But evidently, I was wrong. Readers would prefer to win a crappy DVD and not know they’re going to hate it. The only reason I even chose to review Behind Enemy Lines: Colombia was because I thought it was that documentary Ross Kemp made about Afghanistan. I was wrong, and I’m sure many of the competition winners will make the same mistake I made. Maybe some of them will think they’re getting Ghostbusters or Mommy Dearest; I don’t know. But for those people, here is the questionable review in full:

Behind Enemy Lines: Colombia

* [one star]

I think it is always good for a reviewer to admit their bias against whatever is being reviewed. I am first and foremost not a movie person. I don’t watch films often, but when I do, I like to be either thoroughly educated or thoroughly entertained.

Sadly, Behind Enemy Lines: Colombia managed neither.

The Tim Matheson (Animal House) directed film is co-produced by WWE Studios. In the starring role is WWE Superstar Mr. Kennedy. Obviously there is some special treatment among the ranks, as Mr. Kennedy was allowed to keep his trademark peroxide blonde hair.

Although the direct-to-DVD third film in the Behind Enemy Lines franchise – available as of April 27 – is based on Colombia’s real life FARC communist terrorism group and – as the special features section reveals – all military equipment used is authentic, all attempts at realism end there.

I did try to give this film the benefit of the doubt, but as every factual account of FARC’s actions – reported through dialogue or news bulletins throughout the film – is punctuated by another character advising the group to “stay frosty”, that the terrorists were “preppin’ for a rumble in the jungle” or a succinct “dude”, the educational possibilities of this film turn farcical.

Character development is built up relatively well throughout the movie, as long as you don’t question the existence of a group of Nietzschean supermen prowling around the Colombian Amazon.

Surely being a Navy SEAL isn’t all high-fives and offers of “beers on me” after every clean head-shot.

In fact, from the first revelation that the SEALs “love America” to the final shot of two dead American soldiers being saluted by their regiment while a voiceover quotes the Navy SEALs oath, I would go as far as saying this film is nothing more than not-so-subtle propaganda for the US military.

Viewers are supposed to think “how cool would it be to be one of these soldiers” – but it wouldn’t be cool. Two of them died. If I was there, I would die. I do not want to die, and for that reason above all, I did not like this film.

For a film with the single raison d’être of explosions and gore, there wasn’t very much of either. Special effects were laughably unconvincing and the violence – remember people die in this film – was unrealistic and reminiscent of a cartoon.

For a more realistic exploration of Colombia’s ongoing problems with FARC terrorists, I suggest you look it up on Wikipedia then go paintballing in Colombian army fatigues.

I can’t lie – it sucked… though maybe there are readers with a morbid curiosity!
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3 responses to “Behind Enemy Lines

  1. Your closing line is brilliant. I think you could be a bit more explicit in one regard though: how is it as a comedy? Taking it not as an action movie, but as a series of accidental jokes, does it deliver?

  2. Your editor types like a 12 year old 4chan user.

  3. this story cracks me up, every time!!

    especially the bit about Ross Kemp…

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