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This week:

Behind Enemy Lines

Filthy says:
"Hollywood ate some food dye and is now shitting Red, White and Blue!"

You know why I think movies upset me so much? It's because people like me aren't represented. Hollywood movies introduce us to fuck-ups and losers, but within an hour and a half, those losers have redeemed themselves. No matter how big of assholes they are at the beginning, they always come out smelling like French toilet water. I'd love to see Hollywood spend $80 million on the story of a cowardly loser who, when faced with a character-building challenge, gets the fuck out of there before someone tars him. That's what I'd do. No doubt about it. If the fate of the U.S. were in my hands, I'd be in the back of the first truck with Baja plates. If I had one chance to save mankind from invaders and prove my worth, I'd be covering myself in green makeup and fashioning antennas out of tin foil.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with being a yellow-bellied coward, so long as you admit it. Unless admitting it means some big asshole might punch you. Then, there's nothing wrong with just running as fast as you can. They'll figure out what you are.

Behind Enemy Lines is yet another one of those war movies where the reluctant hero proves what a courageous and resourceful guy he is, and by extension, it's supposed to tell us what a resourceful and heroic nation we are. If this movie tells us anything, it's that we're too fucking lazy to recycle aluminum but not a movie idea . And, if the intended message weren't tired enough, the delivery will be reassurance to a thousand lazy screenwriters who have let their ignorance of war stop them from writing a crappy war flick. Wait no more, lazy hacks! If you're vague on the details, you can just make shit up.

Owen Wilson is one of the bad-boy pilots that Hollywood seems to think the military is chock full of. He's bored because there is nothing to do on his current Bosnian peacekeeping mission but enforce the "Cincinnati Accord." In real life, there was a Dayton Accord, and the difference in cities here is either due: a) to the screenwriters' stupidity b) the studio thought that Dayton was a person who might sue them if they use his name, or c) they couldn't shoehorn their plot into the terms of the actual Accord. Wilson is about to hang up his supercool jumpsuit and supercool nickname "Longhorn" when he and his partner spy something while doing what bad boys love to do: disobey orders and fly over a no-fly zone.

They're shot down by a member of the Serbian Olympic Basketball team who wears his hair like Julius Caesar. Well, the guy is either on the team or he just loves his Adidas jumpsuits. After watching his partner executed by Johnny Adidas, Wilson has to scamper through the Bosnian countryside, trying to rendezvous with NATO forces while avoiding the extremely determined bad guy with unfortunate fashion sense. Meanwhile, Wilson's superior, played by Gene Hackman, sits on the boat and frets a hell of a lot. He acts a shitload more melodramatic than I thought military people were capable.

The movie takes place in a magical fairyland. It's supposed to be Bosnia, but only to give the phony bullshit the smell of real lilacs. The politics are a hodge-podge of what's real and what made writing the script the easiest. The result is a fantastical story full of wild improbabilities that's presented as something we're supposed to swallow whole. As physically impossible as it should be, Behind Enemy Lines takes place entirely in one day, entirely during daylight. In fact, the light never even changes, so I assume it takes place over about one hour. In that time, Wilson walks at least 50 kilometers in a circle and is driven another 26. There are worldwide broadcasts of his situation, his father is informed, and multiple major war decisions are made.

Wilson uses a radio at all elevations that, for plot's convenience, can only be used atop the highest elevation at the beginning of his journey. He follows Hackman's orders, which ultimately leads him back to the site where he landed and his buddy was executed a few hours earlier with the promise that it's a safe place. When the fuck did it become safe? Well, it didn't but a major plot contrivance (namely, the homing device on an ejection seat that miraculously works off a flashlight battery) requires him to return to that point. Wilson is also able to slip out of some scrapes by simply having the movie cut back to Hackman and the ship. It's also one of those movies where bad guys can't hit shit with their thousands of bullets, but they come close every single time.

Some of the aerial scenes are pretty good. It's nothing new, but they are done well. And if you have a short attention span, you won't get bored. The movie blows up more shit than there probably is left in Bosnia. It's an old movie trick: whenever the plot gets slow for, say, three seconds, blow something up. A bomb is easier to write than dialog.

But, the most ridiculous element is this psychic Caesaresque, Adida-clad bad guy. No matter where Wilson is, no matter what he's doing, this fucker knows. He divines from skid marks on a road that not only is Wilson in the truck that skidded, but also that it's headed to a town 26 km away. We never see him figuring out how to track Wilson. That's too much trouble for the writers. Instead, he just keeps popping up behind Wilson, glowering, aiming his guns, and presumably pissed about how fucking dirty his track suit's getting. He's a cartoonishly evil and powerful character in a movie wants so fucking badly to be taken seriously.

Director Moore is a fucking spaz. The guy either doesn't trust the material enough to leave the camera still for ten seconds, or he's an idiot. Every God damn scene has jump cuts, hand-held camera shots, cameras that rotate around characters and flashes of light that I assume are intended to send epileptics in the theaters into convulsions and to distract people from the movie. There's nothing innovative here, but he probably won a bet with someone over how many overused camera tricks he could cram into 100 minutes. It's like he's trying to turn the material into a shitty POD video aimed at easily impressed thirteen-year olds.

Wilson is fine in the opening scenes of the movie where he is establishing his laid-back California vibe. He's a goof and that's what he does best. But, once the action takes over, it's a God damn mystery as to why Wilson was chosen. The role doesn't require acting, especially not Wilson' natural ability for comedy. It just needs a warm body willing to wear dirt-colored makeup and run a lot. Hackman's a fucking pussy, all soft and gooey. Fuck, for all his handwringing and sensitive speeches, he might as well be Marmee March in Little Women.

Two Fingers for Behind Enemy Lines. It'll do you great if you need make-believe reasons to feel patriotic.

For those who are reading A God Damn Love Story, the second act is up for your reading pleasure. This script is not going to be a movie, and I am not going to pretend it should be. I wrote it to prove that even a jackass like me can write a better script than Tomcats. And there are probably a thousand better scripts written every year, if those grassfuckers in Hollywood would pull their heads out of each other's asses, wipe off the shit and look.


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