The words 'Straight to Video' usually inspire fear and cringing throughout film fans all across the land even though every once in a while a diamond emerges out of the rough. Sadly "Behind Enemy Lines: SEAL Team 8" doesn't quite pass muster as while the first two acts of this film are actually pretty passable but as it wraps up it descends into absolute nonsense.
On an unsanctioned mission in Africa, a covert team of Navy SEAL's is sent to locate a secret mining operation and prevent the sale of weapons grade uranium to international terrorists. The stakes are higher than ever, and so is the body count as SEA Team 8 must fight their way through the treacherous Congo in order to secure the uranium, expose the unknown buyer and defuse this incredible threat.
It's a movie that sets off reasonably enough as a workable action flick in the vein of some of the more iconic films of the 1980's, but when the 3rd act of "Behind Enemy Lines: SEAL Team 8" just goes off on some ridiculous and wild tangents, it's hard for even the most diehard action cinema fan to over look the silliness.
Director and co-writer Roel Reine has developed himself a solid reputation as someone who can generate some genuine action cinema on a budget in a short time frame but some of the script choices range from questionable to kind of ludicrous. Serving as his own director of photography, Reine gets right into the fire fight leaning heavily on stunt teams and practical effects to put us into the moment and considering the lack of time and resources he usually has on a project his team comes up with some commendable results. It's certainly good enough as it apes and borrows some tropes from some of the cold war action movies of the 1980's with some quality editing and passing that never lags letting the story move along, however it just has one too many moments of out and out absurdity as the third act devolves into a crazy western/Hong Kong actioner as the last SEAL standing ends up taking on an entire city to save a friend only to deliver a half assed maudlin speech about the horrors of war as the bad guy ends up dying in one of the cheesiest ways I've seen in recent memory.
It's a mostly unknown ensemble by North American standards and while the material certainly doesn't challenge any of the actors involved, no one gets embarrassed either. Tom Sizemore essentially steps into the Gene Hackman role from the first film and probably did all of his shots in a couple of days, while Brit, Lex Shrapnel (seriously that's his name) stepped into the action leading man slot reasonably well.
Picture and sound quality are solid while the special features on this BD release include three behind the scenes featurettes and a feature length audio commentary track from director Roel Reine.
At the end of the day, "Behind Enemy Lines: SEAL Team 8" is OK if it comes on TV on a lazy Sunday afternoon but it's hardly anything that you need to chase down.
2 out of 5 stars.
"Behind Enemy Lines: SEAL Team 8" is now available for purchase on DVD and Blu-Ray from major retailers like amazon.ca and HMV.