"Hope is worth fighting for."
A 1998 film about the Bosnian war
, starring Dennis Quaid as Joshua "Guy" Rose, a U.S. Marine
and Nataša Ninković as Vera, the woman
he is escorting to a U.N.
Stationed in Paris on embassy guard duty, Josh witnesses the death of his wife (Nastassja Kinski) and son by Muslim suicide bombers
. Immediately after the funeral of his wife and son, Joshua storms into the nearest mosque and guns down the worshipers inside
. His buddy Peter (Stellan Skarsgĺrd) catches up to him just in time to shoot a survivor who was going to shoot Joshua. To avoid being prosecuted for murder, Joshua and Peter run off to join the French Foreign Legion
. After getting bored with the Foreign Legion, Guy and Pete become mercenaries and end up working for the Serbs in the Bosnian War. During a prisoner exchange, Guy encounters Vera and saves her and her child soon afterward.
He becomes her only hope for survival.
She becomes his only hope for redemption.
This film provides examples of:
- A Nazi by Any Other Name: the Bosnian, Croat, and Serb soldiers all qualify.
- Anyone Can Die
- Armies Are Evil: Played straight with the Balkan factions.
- Ate His Gun: Vera tries to do this with Goran's gun right after giving birth, but is stopped by Guy.
- Child by Rape: The baby girl
- Child Soldiers: The little girl who walks up to the guard-post, smiling. Pete offers her some gum. He radios over to Guy, telling him how he don't give a damn about the Captain's stories and how "we're not gonna become baby-killers". Death by Irony ensues.
- Church Militant: The Muslims are particularly depicted as such.
- Not really. That's how only Goran described them. While Mujahideen from the Arab world did come to assist the Bosnian Muslims, the term was used as a slur in this context as Goran, like many others of his contemporaries, were blinded by nationalist propaganda.
- Crapsack World: The Balkan countryside, where war is a constant, gas is no-where to be found, and none of the tits work.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: The sledgehammer executions. Apparently, these are based on a real-life execution method used by the Ottoman Turks, who once ruled a large part of the Balkans. The method was later revived by the Croat Ustaše in World War II.
- Cold Sniper: Guy
- Colonel Kilgore: The Croat executioner.
- Dangerous Deserter: Guy is seen as one after gunning down Goran
- Dead Guy on Display: The lynched priest
- Dead Sidekick
- Death by Irony: Pete
- Die Laughing: Goran laughs at Guy's reprimands and weapon aimed at him. He swings his own gun around, but not fast enough.
- Do Not Do This Cool Thing: Not this time. The film does a very good job of portraying just how brutally sickening war is.
- Doomed Hometown: Vera's
- Drop the Hammer: In the scene at the beach, the marauders' brute uses a huge hammer to deliver the killing blow to Vera.
- Evil Versus Evil: This is The Yugoslav Wars, this is to be expected.
- Face Death with Dignity: Vera.
- Genre Blindness: Goran advises Guy to not be so naive about the "truce". Peter refuses to believe the stories about Child Soldiers.
- Honor-Related Abuse: Vera's father can't abide that she got raped by a Muslim.
- Infant Immortality: Subverted, as the baby almost dies several times.
- Interrupted Suicide: Vera, right after giving birth.
- Kick the Dog: All over the place
- Kill 'em All: The various massacre scenes
- Kill the Ones You Love: Almost happens when Guy puts his hand over the baby's mouth to keep her noise from giving away their position.
- Leave No Survivors: The whole point of ethnic cleansing.
- Living MacGuffin: Guy makes it his personal mission to keep the baby safe at all costs.
- Meaningful Funeral: Subverted, as Joshua storms off as soon as the ceremony is done to get revenge.
- Meaningful Name:
- Peter is his loyal buddy.
- A rose is a flower of great meaning, given to signify love or mourning.
- Josh changes his name to "Guy", becoming an "anonymous everyman".
- Vera is a common name in Slavic nations meaning "faith".
- My God, What Have I Done?
- No One Gets Left Behind: The Foreign Legion stressed this point.
- Later, we see Guy snipe several Bosnian troops who venture out to retrieve their fallen comrades.
- No Woman's Land: Systematic rape of captured women
- Not So Different: Goran brags that he and other Serbs rape captured Bosnian women. Guy points out that the Bosnians do the same to captured Serbian women.
- Goran replies: "Our women are stronger."
- may be some truth to that, considering what Vera and her daughter survived. Apparently a Serbian newborn can stomach fresh-from-the-teat goat's milk.
- Obligatory War Crime Scene: Goran hacking off a Bosnian woman's finger to steal her ring, and leaving her to bleed to death.
- Pet the Dog: Or rather, "save the cat"
- Plunder: Goran chopping a ring off a dying woman's finger
- Post Rape Taunt: When Goran is boasting to Guy about raping a young Bosnian woman, she curses at him. He purposely mistranslates for Guy, saying, "You know what she said? She said I was the best she ever had!"
- Redemption Equals Death: subverted
- Sociopathic Soldier: Goran
- These Hands Have Killed
- U.N Peacekeepers Are Useless
- Unfriendly Fire: Guy kills Goran
- Urban Warfare
- War Is Hell: Pretty much the entire point of the film.