Loud, in-your-face violence illustrates the events of the 2008 Russo-Georgian War in Renny Harlin’s (Die Hard 2, Cliffhanger) 5 Days of War. Russia is trying to take over Georgia, and the Georgian president (Andy Garcia) isn’t about to let it happen without a fight. Naturally, tireless American journalist Thomas Anders (Rupert Friend) deploys to Georgia and quickly positions himself to get the story.
After picking up a Georgian woman (Emmanuelle Chriqui or Sloan for Entourage fans) and her family along the way, Anders and his cameraman (Richard Coyle) fight to stay alive as they document the horrors of war. Scary mercenaries paid by the Russians to do the “special jobs,” including slitting throats, setting bodies on fire and raiding villages, learn Anders’ cameraman has caught their war crimes on film and pursue brutal means to ensure the footage isn’t released. The bad guys are convincingly bad, and the movie alternates between tense moments of calm and captivating surges of warfare.
In the style of Under Fire, the price of truth is a central theme of the movie. Taking you into the close-knit world of war journalists, a revealing moment occurs when a group of news industry employees gather at a bar in Georgia to share an evening of drinking away their memories of past bombings and body counts. You can’t help but wonder if the kind of people who sign up for this work are whistle blowers or thrill seekers. Anders is convincingly a little of both.
The ending of the movie features true-life Georgians holding up pictures of family members lost in the war. The film may be one-sided, but it is nonetheless intense and entertaining.