Behind Enemy Lines (2001)

 

 

Director:  John Moore. 

Starring:  Owen Wilson (Lt. Chris Burnett), Gene Hackman (Admiral Leslie McMahon Reigart), Gabriel Macht (Stackhouse), Charles Malik Whitfield (Capt. Rodway, USMC), David Keith (Master Chief Tom O'Malley), Olek Krupa (Miroslav Lokar),  Joaquim de Almeida (Admiral Piquet),  Vladimir Mashkov (Sasha), Marko Igonda (Bazda), Eyal Podell (Petty Officer Kennedy),  Geoffrey Pierson (Admiral Donnelly).

American pilots downed behind Serb lines

 

Good movie.  It is the time of the Bosnia-Serbia War.  The Serbs control most of southern Bosnia.  It is a period of cease-fire between the two warring parties and the peace is being monitored by NATO planes. 

The United States aircraft carrier, the USS Carl Vincent, is performing as part of the NATO naval fleet in the Adriatic Sea, monitoring the cease-fire between the Bosnians and Serbians in the Bosnia-Serbia War.  The commander is Admiral Leslie Reigart and his boss is Admiral Juan Miguel Piquet, commander Naval Command.

Pilot Lt. Chris Burnett (Owen Wison) is a flight navigator who is two weeks away from getting out of the Navy.  Instead of having an easy last two weeks, Admiral Reigart (Gene Hackman) sends him and his fellow pilot Stackhouse on a Christmas reconnaissance mission.  Lt. Burnett is so bored with flying these missions that he suggests to his co-pilot and buddy that they fly off course and check out some other areas around the Serbian lines.

The pilots, however, are surprised when they discover a build-up of Serbian forces in part of the de-militarized zone near Hac, in the mountains north of Miciovic.  The Serbs do not want their forces to be revealed, so they use a SAM missile to shoot down the NATO plane.  The pilots are able to eject from the plane.  The Serbs, under the war criminal Miroslav Lokar, capture co-pilot Stackhouse and very quickly execute him..  Lt. Burnett sees this happen and the chase is on. 

The rest of the movie is an extended chase with lots of suspense. 

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.

 


Historical Background:

 

 

See Harrison's Flowers (2000).

 

 

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