Joshua Rose avenges the death of his wife and son working as a mercenary for the Serbs, fighting a war he doesn't believe in.
Genre: Feature Film-Action/Adventure
Release Date: 4-NOV-2003
Media Type: DVD
"Some reviewers have criticized this film for allegedly being pro-Serb. But this film portrays all sides of the Balkans conflict in a very unflattering light. The real message of this film is not that Serbs are good and their opponents are bad; rather, it is that the Balkan conflict wasn't the simplistic bad, evil Serbs versus the poor, innocent Bosnian Muslims and Croats conflict that was portrayed in the Western news media. The film is historically accurate in the sense that it makes clear that all sides, not just the Serbs, were guilty of war crimes against civilians.
The movie starts out in Paris, where an American (Dennis Quaid) loses his wife and child to Muslim terrorists. After he exacts revenge by taking the the law into his own hands, he flees to the French Foreign Legion under an assumed identity. Seeking to fight for a cause he can believe in, he joins the Serbs fighting against Muslim Bosnians, only to be disillusioned after witnessing Serb brutality against Muslim civilians, and their wrath against a Serb woman whose only crime was to be raped and impregnated by a Muslim. He tries to rescue the Serb woman and her child, and, along the way, witnesses massacres of Serb civilians first by Muslims and then by Croats.
This is, more than anything, an anti-war movie, and it is much better than most other films about the Balkan conflict, which tend to come across as preachy, anti-Serb propaganda.
One thing to note, however, is that while Nastassia Kinsky is given top billing as one of the films stars, she only appears in the film for about five minutes, as Dennis Quaid's wife, before she is killed off."
Sad but true...
Y. SEMENIC | BELFORT France | 09/09/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"War in south-eastern europe (Croatia and Bosnia) during the nineties wasn't a confrontation between gentlemen : believe it or not, it has ALWAYS happened like that in these countries. Atrocities toward civilians were made by ALL sides (Croats, Serbs and Muslims). This honest and interesting movie shows that clearly. In spite of that I was already aware of these facts, this fictional story, of an american soldier of fortune, whose family had been previously killed by muslim terrorists and, then fighting alongside the Serbs, had some impact on me. Many scenes were so realistically shot that it was 'painfull' to watch them (especially the last one)... Maybe not the best war movie ever produced but, you shouldn't miss it, just to have an objective opinion about what really occured in former yugoslavia."
J. Houzet | 11/22/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This film took me utterly by surprise. Frankly, I didn't know to expect. What I thought was going to be a typical Hollywood take on war, was instead a difficult, unflinching and harrowing film about the horrors of war in general and Bosnia in particular. I must admit, on more than one occasion I had to walk away from the screen. I felt helpless and angry and, at points, shivered at the sheer horror of what was unfolding before me. This film is yet another testament to man's inhumanity to man. To be honest, I don't think I shall ever forget this film. Even though I read much on the subject and stared in disbelief at the pictures broadcast on the evening news, "Savior" completely redefined for me this grim and inhumane chapter in modern history. Dennis Quaid gives an honest and gut-felt performance as Joshua (a.k.a. "Guy"); a role very different from anything he's ever done in the past and, quite frankly, unlikely to do again. This film steered clear of Hollywood clichés, gimmicks and tidy endings. This is a movie about the chaos and horror of war and at no time, does anyone attempt to glamorize it, thus diminishing it's power to move and anger, shock and repel. There's no happy ending to be had in this movie. The end only conveys the ultimate truth: In war, there are no winners. I watched this movie with a friend who was reduced to tears by the time the end credits rolled onto the screen. I, on the other hand, was still and speechless. A cathartic experience and one that will be with me for quite a long time. An all around outstanding film, difficult as it was to see."
Painful but necessary glimpse of the war in Bosnia
J. Houzet | Chicago, IL | 05/14/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was one of the most emotionally gripping movies I have ever seen... this was a triumph for actor Dennis Quaid, a departure from his usual roles. Here he is the anti-hero, the guy whose pain and grief we understand but whose journey into darkness we shudder at.
... This is NOT a Serbian propaganda piece, as some have suggested. To the contrary, the first monster we meet in this story (other than Quaid's mercenary) is a Serbian soldier who cuts off a Muslim grandmother's finger to take her ring and talks casually about the Muslim women he has raped in prison camps. But the atrocities are not limited to the Serbs.
We first encounter Quaid's character, Joshua Rose, as a US military officer based in Paris. His wife and young son are killed in a bomb blast at a cafe opposite a US consular building. Rose's rage and vengeance is immediately directed at the nearest mosque, where he goes in and starts shooting Muslim worshipers in the back. Several people [have] called these worshipers "innocent," but that might be a misnomer because at least one of the Muslims drew his own handgun ...
Anyway, Rose is encouraged by his friend (played by Stellan Skarsgaard) to flee arrest. They join the Foreign Legion, take on new identities and fight in wars in various countries. But Rose is just marking time. He wants a war he can believe in. This interlude was meant to show a passage of time and how long Rose has held onto his resentment, but it is too hurried to have that effect.
Rose and his friend end up in the former Yugoslavia, fighting on the side of the Serbs. Rose is trained as a sniper and we see him waiting for targets with relentless patience. Anyone is a target... His new partner is a Serb, hardened by war and without compassion. His partner's brutality toward a young Serbian woman pregnant by a Muslim rapist (like it was her fault!) finally causes Rose to intervene on behalf of someone.
He takes her to her home but her family rejects her and even pursues them both to exact punishment from some twisted sense of honor. From then on it's a desperate flight to get to a UN safe haven. Rose's long dead compassion is aroused for the woman's bastard child, and seeing him care for her baby awakens the mother out of her own numbness.
Like others have said, this does not have a happy ending, but at least offers a glimmer of hope for souls to be redeemed and survivors to have a chance at life."
I came from a war
Dinko | FL | 06/02/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ok, first all these people that are writing comments probably are from Bosnia but lived throughout the war in another country. I am from Prijedor,Bosnia and i know exactly how a war is like because i've seen it and i know how it is. This movie cannot be better it is 110% reality and cannot be better. Maybe there are a few clips they added in but that probably was true also. I do not understand why the creater of the Movie didnt get an Oscar. If you watch this movie and you are from BOSNIA, you will cry and know exactly how it was. The way they killed Muslims was true (hammer on the head...., cut ear out...rape....etc) I just have to say that this movie is the best and cannot be any more better. By this messege i do not attend to hurt anybodys feelings...I am just sharing my opinion to this movie that its very real and no other Bosnian War movie or how you want to call it is better."