If I am honest I had not heard of this movie when I reached for the eject button on my DVD player to spin up the disc for a night's viewing. I somehow missed this at the cinema. With a little research I note that this is in fact a re-release of the movie to include the deleted scenes actually in the movie (the first DVD had these separately as deleted scenes). On further investigation it also appears that this second release includes the documentaries from the first but fails to carry over the audio commentaries and the trailers. Hmmm. This re-release actually includes less than the first. Anyway, back to the film.
The story tells of a group of Navy Seals, led by Mr Bruce Willis, whose mission is rescue a doctor from war torn Nigeria. Of course as you can guess the doctor refuses to leave behind her patients. So poses the dilemma. After much debate they agree to take the patients and so begin their trek through the jungles to the helicopter rendezvous point. Upon reaching said meeting place they accost the doctor and fly off leaving the patients behind, much to the doctor's ranting and raving. Within minutes of flying off they pass over a church to see the carnage left behind by the ruthless local warlord's men. In a moment of remorse they turn round and agree to walk the villages to safety across the border.
That's the storyline of the film. Like I said before it isn't new and it has been done before in various guises. The question is, is this a worthy imitation? Well, it's not full of Oscar winning performances. It's played very pretentiously and is amazingly cheesy in parts, especially the end speech by one of the Africans. Bruce Willis' character of the cold uncaring soldier who is supposed to be showing his more sensitive, 'I do give a damn', side is played very stiff throughout. He barely manages to utter a string of sentences and just barks out the odd words under his breath. This is much a fault of the script as of the performance. The other soldiers aren't played with any verve or enthusiasm and so the viewer doesn't really get any chance to warm to them. So when it's time for one of them to get shot...erm...you don't particularly care. This is your everyday rescue movie that happens to contain a little bit of modern day politics. It can't be considered as a masterpiece of literature or film because it's not. Some of the end dialogue, as well as during odd scenes throughout, just spoil the fact that this is purely a mindless action movie. The director obviously had the vision of making this an epic war film full of poignant anecdotes and morals. These speeches are supposed to enhance the visuals and create emotion in the viewer. Unfortunately, the lazy dialogue and the wooden acting mean that these speeches from the heart are so corny it's untrue. Bruce's drop to his knees from exhaustion and near death at the end after all the carnage is a pure cringe worthy material. Sorry, but this can't be taken seriously.
Our Review Ethos