6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Terrific to see Renny Harlin back doing what he does best,
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This review is from: 5 Days of War [DVD] (DVD)
I've been looking forward to seeing this since I heard about it on IMDB. Originally titled 'Georgia', this war-thru-the-eyes-of-journalists drama shares the same DNA as 'Salvador' and 'The Killing Fields'. There are some very good things about this film, 1) It is beautifully shot on location in Georgia, completely belieing it's meagre $20 million budget (it looks ten times this). 2) The battle and action scenes are incredibly well done, Renny Harlin is a master at action and it is really great to see him back in this genre. 3) There are some really effective sections, in particular a so-tense-you'll faint sequence where the heroes and some refugees hide in an orchard, an interrogation scene, and a harrowing missile attack on a wedding party. Unfortunately what lets this film down is a poor script, some horribly hackeneyed dialogue "Your one crazy mother f***er" says Richard Coyle's character, made all the more cringeworthy because he's English, and a softening of the edges (I think to make it more sellable back in the US where I believe it's getting a theatrical release).
I think this film will put Renny Harlin back on the map, his career has suffered in the last ten years, reduced to reshooting an Exorcist prequel and the godawful 'Driven' for example. But I think there was probably a much harder, rawer film that he originally intended to make, and ended up softening and commercialising the final version. Not that this is a bad thing, but as with his big hits 'Die Hard 2' and 'Cliffhanger' you can spot the 'studio exec / committee notes' bits a mile away.