Top critical review
This film is beyond rescue
on 28 November 2017
Oh dear!? Clearly plenty of money was spent making this film. Jets and aircraft carriers, and bombed out former Soviet-bloc settings such as we see here, don't come cheap. But despite the multi-million dollar budget, it's naff.
The plot is potentially good: US pilots are shot down in hostile territory. How will they survive? Will they be rescued? One feels that the context - the horrifying ethnic wars in Bosnia - is not treated with enough sympathy or understanding. It's just used as a backdrop for a 'goodies versus baddies' scenario utterly lacking in sophistication.
Talking of which, one of the early warnings that this isn't going to be much cop is the use of godawful music throughout. The sort of strident garbage better suited to gym workouts than any kind of film.
Owen Wilson and Gene Hackman should've shown themselves more discerning. They're both good actors. But they can't rescue this turkey. Some of the filming is pretty slick. But when the heart of the film beats so erratically and weakly, such trickery smacks of dumb desperation. Character and dialogue are lacking, and plot credibility is more full of holes than a string vest.
I did manage to watch all the way through. But I felt robbed, frankly. The final scene is a damp and predictable squib, and not the chest-beatingly manly and proud firework display the soundtrack lamely tries to suggest. Watchable, just. But I wouldn't recommend it.