*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie boldly claims that it's all being based on true events but like (too) often is the case, this just wasn't true at all. It's all only very merely loosely based on the story of a couple of journalists, which wasn't as spectacular as portrayed in this movie but still was sure far more interesting though.

Not hard to see what this movie its problem is; it's far too over Hollywoodized. The three main characters are portrayed as brave heroes, who even risk their lives to capture a war criminal and put an end to a conflict that has been going on for years and years. What arrogance and stupidity. They get themselves into all kinds of predicaments. They get followed, shot at, kidnapped and even the CIA gets involved with their operation. Am I watching a true war drama or a James Bond movie here? It was especially ridicules how they let the Fox be almost directly responsible for the death of Richard Gere characters's girlfriend, while also walking away and staring like a true villain.

The character the Fox is never named by his true name but it should be pretty obvious that he was supposed to be Radovan Karadžić. Even the actor that plays him is made to look just like him. I can understand why they changed the character's name though. If they named him Radovan Karadžić people would had known that our 'heroes' wouldn't succeed in capturing him, since Karadžić was still a free man at the time. When the named him just the Fox they knew that some audiences might still have been left in doubt and suspense. But also this is an example of the Hollywoodisation of this movie. It's too busy thinking and worrying about things from a marketing perspective and it doesn't spend enough time trying to tell a good, true story.

This movie would had been so much better and more interesting if it was put into the hands of a director who wanted to tell the story in a true, honest and straight-forward way, like perhaps a director like Michael Mann would be capable off. It's a story that really deserved- but also needed some more depth and background. This movie doesn't give you any information or background about the whole Yugoslav wars and its aftermath. It's also a reason why a whole bunch of people, such as for instances Serbs and Bosniaks, feel offended by this movie. It's not a movie about their conflict, pains or emotions, it's a movie about brave heroic Americans, barging in to save the day.

But no, also when you look at this movie from a different perspective, so without having in mind that this is supposed to be based on true events, this just isn't a very engaging, interesting, or entertaining movie to watch. It's quite weak in its approach and directing, since it doesn't seem to be able to make up its mind if it wants to be serious and tense, dramatic, or a fun, silly movie. Sometimes it works and blends in well all together for other Richard Shepard movies but just not this time around really. It also makes the entire point that this movie tries to get across not work out properly at all.

It attempts to make a point about it how ridicules and fishy it is that after so many years neither a person like Radovan Karadžić or Ratko Mladić got found or caught and could walk around and life freely, while when a couple of journalists attempt to find Karadžić they succeed in only a couple of days. It is of course right about this point but it just doesn't let it come across as anything strong or something that sticks and provokes. I don't think this movie made any people really think about these things and I'm pretty sure Karadžić himself will actually laugh at this movie when he watches it in his cell. It makes the movie even a bit painful, especially when at the end the movie openly and somewhat aggressively questions why Karadžić, Mladić and Bin Laden never got found and caught, three persons who all by now are either caught or killed.

OK so on a positive note, I liked some of the acting in this movie. Especially Terrence Howard and Jesse Eisenberg were good in their roles and it was also good to see that they shot this movie at the actually countries the events within this movie took place at, also mostly starring people from those regions in the supporting roles. Too bad that the story and all of its events aren't as authentic and realistic.

Completely irrelevant movie, that fails to deliver with either its drama or entertainment. I still didn't hated this movie as much as I probably make it sound right now but it still is really not a movie that I would ever recommend to anyone.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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