Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Tim Mattheson directed this movie ‘Behind Enemy Lines: Columbia’. First of all I didn’t know Tim Mattheson directed movies and secondly I had no idea that Mr. Mattheson was so freaking old. Dude is like the same age as my Dad, but then when I think back and realize that my man WAS one of the rouge motorcycle cops in ‘Magnum Force’ back in 1973 when I was about five, then yeah… I guess he’d be pretty damn ancient in 2009. Another thing I didn’t know was that the ‘Behind Enemy Lines’ series of movies were so spectacular that it warranted a third episode. Apparently with Direct to DVD being the way to go nowadays, they will turn just about anything into a sequel. And I’m still waiting for production to start on a fourth ‘Wild Things’ movie.

The first theatrical BEL movie found us running for our lives in Bosnia, with the next Direct to DVD sequel seeing our heroes trapped in North Korea. Today it’s Columbia with the rumor mill floating around that the fourth Behind Enemy Lines will be take place in Gary Indiana. Nothing but love Gary. After a quick introduction of our heroic SEALS who consist of primarily Lt. Sean Macklin (Joe Mangniello), 2nd Petty Office Kevin Derricks (Channon Roe) and Chief Carter Holt (Mr. Kennedy – hey, that’s what the man wants to be called) our crew is called off of vacation and summoned to the commander to get their orders from the silky smooth dulcet tones of Keith David playing the role of Chief Commander Scott Boytano. Does anybody on the planet earth look less like a guy named ‘Boytano’ than Keith David? I don’t think so.

Seems like there’s some trouble in Columbia with the warlords and rogue elements messing stuff up, something we witnessed earlier first hand as Columbian army officer Alvaro Cardona (Yancy Arias) tragically lost his family due to one of these warring factions wayward concussion bombs. Now our heroes have been sent on a simple recon and fact gathering mission to monitor the actions of these warring

factions which actually seems to be on the cusp of a peace agreement, at least until some Columbian Special Forces led by the aforementioned Cardona start shooting up everybody, including the Americans. So much for ‘simple’.

Now our few heroes who managed to survive this massacre are trapped ‘Behind Enemy Lines’ as it were with very few options, as the U.S. Government has basically abandoned them, allowing them to be the patsy fall guys in the massacre that has just taken place. Now the soldiers mettle is put to the test as they must rescue a captured comrade, because you know we never leave a man behind, and also face off against what seems like ten thousand Colombian special forces soldiers. Two of us against a thousand of them? Tell those suckers to get a few more thousand so we can make this a fair fight.

The crime that the previous Behind Enemy Lines movie, ‘Axis of Evil’ suffered from was that it was painfully mediocre. Not bad, not good but simply just there. This particular version does manage to be better than the previous film, at least in my opinion, but not by much thus making it only slightly less painfully mediocre. There was some cool stuff in this movie such as the technology these cats were using to spy on the enemy. Since I don’t enough about any of this stuff to comment on the validity of any of it, if they made it up it sure was cool and these cats have some vivid imaginations and if we actually have this stuff at our disposal then GO U.S.A.!!! Another good thing is the movie doesn’t get boring with all of the running and shooting and car chases and stabbing and what not, plus Keith David is in the movie and if you have Keith David in your movie director Mattheson had the common sense to put the oft used voice over actor to work for a movie ending dramatic voice over about how great and loyal our soldiers are.

Despite the fact the movie did have quite a bit of action, not much of the action was all that thrilling for the most part and none of the actors in the film playing our soldiers in the field did all that much to separate themselves from the mundane action. None of the actors were particularly awful but they were simply cardboard cut-outs of what we would expect to see from a soldier in a war type movie such as this one, spewing the same war type dialog that we’ve heard umpteen times before. Plus the Colombian ‘Special Forces’ as they are presented in this movie SUCK! I hate to think how Colombian ‘regular forces’ are going to respond if they ever get invaded. Who trained these clowns, Mr. Magoo? I mean this is their country and their jungles and their buildings yet two of our soldiers took out these sucka ass fools without hardly breaking a sweat. I know we’re some badazz mofo’s but damn.

Again ‘Behind Enemy Lines: Columbia’ isn’t a particularly bad film, but just like its predecessor it’s a mundane one, only slightly less so. The good thing is if there’s a fourth one of these it’ll be less mundane than this one and eventually one of these movies will actually graduate into being good.

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