In the jungles of Colombia, there's nowhere to run... forcing a covert team of U.S. Navy SEALs to make their own solutions in this riveting and explosive new film that takes the Behind Enemy Lines franchise into bold new territory!
Colombia is in chaos, caught in a bitter war between its government and insurgent guerillas. While on a secret mission to observe a meeting between the two factions, the SEALs suddenly find themselves framed for the murder of leaders from both sides! Now, abandoned by their own government, the group must survive long enough to prove their innocence and prevent the brutal war from spilling over the border. Starring Joe Manganiello (Spider-Man), WWE's Mr. Kennedy, and Keith David (Behind Enemy Lines II: Axis of Evil), this viscerally thrilling, action-packed sequel delivers an all-new level of excitement!
It seems every reboot of the “Behind Enemy Lines” franchise has no relation to its earlier predecessors save for its title and of course its implied premise. Strike three sees the WWE Studios take on a co-producing role- the studio most notable for its vigour in bringing its popular wrestling stars to the big screen- and this movie is no exception.
The WWE star that gets the dubious honour of making the big-screen leap this time round is Ken Anderson (more popularly known in the WWE circuit as Mr Kennedy) and certainly there’s no questioning the man’s physique. Ditto for the rest of the cast, including leading man Joe Manganiello, Channon Roe, Chris Johnson and Antony Matos.
They play a band of Navy SEALS sent into Columbia on a reconnaissance operation to spy on the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia), one of the fiercest and meanest guerrilla forces in the world. As fate would have it, the mission goes horribly wrong, two of the men get killed, another gets captured, and the remaining two swing into action to rescue their fellow comrade and clear their names.
It’s not a terribly complicated nor original plot but you probably already guessed so picking up this direct-to-DVD release. Where it loses points for originality, it certainly makes up for it in some handsomely mounted action sequences. Both in the jungles, and in the city, credit must go to director Tim Matheson for keeping the shootouts thrilling, and also convincingly real, never resorting to cheap theatrics.
Of course, in this regard, the movie is also helped by its well-built and well-toned cast. Unlike many action movies where you can so easily recognise the stunt doubles, you know that it is the actors doing their thing on screen- right down to the final mano-a-mano, knife against knife showdown. Thanks to their macho screen presence, you’ll even be willing to forgive Joe Manganiello and Mr Kennedy for not being particularly expressive leads.
The movie also earns credibility for its real-life relevance. As its opening documentary-style montage will tell you, the Columbian government and FARC have been at war for a good 40 over years and this story makes use of their conflict, as well as the United States’ involvement, to spin an altogether possible tale of cover-ups, betrayals and political wrangling.
That’s definitely much more than one would expect of a movie of this calibre. While it is not exceptional, it still is a sturdy action movie reminiscent of those entertaining B-grade Vietnam war movies of the ’80s. It’s as close to a modern-day Rambo if that’s what you’re in the mood for.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
There are two commentaries on this Code 3 DVD. The first features Joe Manganiello, Mr Kennedy and director Tim Matheson in what is an interesting and breezy commentary on their filming experiences. The second is a much duller IGN Commentary supposedly by fans of the movie. Listen to it strictly if you like Mr Kennedy.
Another 6 featurettes make up the rest of the special features:
The Big Guns: Military Action on Film is a brief look at the training that the actors went through before shooting the movie.
Colombia Norte: On Location in Puerto Rico plays like a short travelogue on Puerto Rico where the movie was shot in place of Columbia.
The Rocket’s Red Glare: Explosions Explained goes behind the scenes of the many explosion scenes of the film. You can tell they had a blast making those blasts!
The Art of the Fall: Stunt Secrets talks about how the stunt preparation the cast went through to make their actions on screen look real.
Comedy in Columbia: Bloopers and Other Relief affirms what a blast of a time the cast and crew had while filming the movie.
Stars with Stripes: Casting Joe and Mr Kennedy confirms why the two lead actors were indeed made for their roles.
Visual transfer is excellent and the Dolby 5.1 track is surprisingly strong especially during the action scenes.
by Gabriel Chong