Behind Enemy Lines
"5 Days of War" starts by informing us about the number of war correspondents who have died in the past decade and I thought that this was going to be a movie which focussed on the dangers that these brave journalists put themselves in. Now I know others watched "5 Days of War" because of the war in Georgia in 2008 and expected an account of this conflict from a political level. Well in the end both those people and I ended up disappointed because "5 Days at War" ends up a one side action movie which is surprisingly dull.
After that intro where we learn about the 500 correspondents who have died covering war we actually see one, as we are taken to Iraq, 2007 and witness a jeep carrying journalists fired upon and a female journalist die. The journalist is played by Heather Graham and is in the movie for less than 3 minutes but she is pretty enough to make us believe she is the girlfriend of journalist Thomas Anders. Anders is the real focus of the movie; him and camera man Sebastian Ganz who a year later head to Georgia as a fellow journalist informs them it is all about to blow up. It is not a bad set up and you sort of think well if they got Heather Graham for such a small role and they also have Andy Garcia and Val Kilmer as well as Rade Serbedzija and Kenneth Cranham it can't be just a cheap production.
The trouble is that when we see Anders and Sebastian arrive in Georgia it all becomes very clear because firstly this is a one sided movie, told from the Georgian's perspective and secondly it is little more than an action movie. Now I am not going to say what we are told happened in the movie didn't happen, I wasn't there but it is a very one sided movie which is all about portraying the Georgians as innocent defenders in all this. It doesn't get in to the politics of things but sets up little more than a collection of action scenes, explosions, gun fire, killing and the journalists crouching behind fences covering all this somehow going unnoticed.
Now I know that disappoints some people because it isn't a true look at the war but it disappoints me for a different reason because this isn't a true look at the dangers journalists put themselves in. So what that means in the end is that "5 Days of War" ends up a routine action movie where are journalists along with a pretty Georgian called Tatia try and evade capture and being shot. It is as I mentioned a lot of guns being fired, things blowing up and are protagonists not so much action heroes but the good guys in the middle of this, and by this I mean heavily choreographed action. But then when I tell you that "5 Days of War" is directed by Renny Harlin that may not be such of a surprise because Harlin is known for his action movies.
What this all boils down to is that "5 Days of War" doesn't work. From a political point of view it's coverage of the war in Georgia is one sided, from a look at the dangers of being a war correspondent it never comes close to being authentic and as an action movie it is too heavily choreographed to be believable.