Behind Enemy Lines II: Axis of Evil is a 2006 American war film and the sequel to 2001’s Behind Enemy Lines.
The film was written and directed by James Dodson, starring Nicholas Gonzalez, Matt Bushell, Keith David, Denis Arndt, Ben Cross, Bruce McGill and Peter Coyote.
The story is not linked to the first part of the series. Instead, it focuses on a fictional explanation for the Ryanggang explosion in 2004, in which an unexplained mushroom cloud occurred in North Korea.
After reconnaissance satellites detect a large, three-stage Topol intercontinental ballistic missile carrying a nuclear weapon in North Korea, which can strike anywhere in the continental United States, United States President Adair T. Manning (Peter Coyote) orders a team of U.S. Navy SEALs to destroy the missile and the launch site. The team is led by Lieutenant Robert James (Nicholas Gonzalez).
The Pentagon aborts the mission after it receives new information, but by the time the abort order is sent, two SEALs have already parachuted into North Korean territory. James stops the third SEAL from deploying, accidentally knocking the man’s helmet against the status indicator mounted near the door. The lieutenant steps onto the makeshift ramp to peer outside, returning to the doorway to inform the rest of men of the abort. The high-speed winds from outside rip the indicator loose and send it flying into the lieutenant’s face. Stumbling backwards, James loses his balance and is blown out of the plane. Callaghan disobeys orders to stand fast, strikes his commanding officer, and follows the first three, taking a radio with him. When North Korean forces led by Commander Hwang (Joseph Steven Yang) find the SEALs, two of the Navy SEALs are killed in a gun battle, and James and Callaghan are captured and tortured by Hwang and his men.
After South Korean special forces rescue James and Callaghan, President Manning and the South Korean government send the SEALs and South Korean special forces to destroy the missile site. But after losing radio contact with the SEALs, the President and his top advisers believe that they have been captured again. Under pressure from his military advisor, General Norman Vance (Bruce McGill), the President decides to send B-2 stealth bombers to destroy the site, which would start a full-scale war against North Korea. The SEALs and the South Korean special forces are almost recaptured by Hwang, but he is shot by a defecting officer. James and the South Koreans destroy the missile silo with a bomb before the bombers reach the missile site, which averts the bombing and prevents a full-scale war.
A tribunal convicts Callaghan of striking an officer (1 year) and disobeying an officer (10 years). Due to the “black op” nature of the mission, the transcript of the hearing is deemed classified and the charges are expunged from his record, leaving him free to return to his family.
Meanwhile, James meets the president in a classified meeting, bringing his mentor Master Chief Scott Boytano (Keith David) as witness to James’ receiving of an award.
The film closes with Boytano telling James he was not red flagged because Boytano had never seen anyone who desired so badly as James did to be a SEAL. During the credits there is a news report on the Ryanggang explosion.
Behind Enemy Lines Franchise
The film was followed by three direct-to-video sequels:
- Behind Enemy Lines (2001).
- Behind Enemy Lines II: Axis of Evil (2006).
- Behind Enemy Lines: Colombia (2009).
- Behind Enemy Lines: SEAL Team Eight (2014).
The third film was co-produced by WWE Studios. None of these sequels feature the cast and crew of the original.
Production & Filming Details
- Director: James Dodson.
- Producers: Roee Sharon and James Dodson.
- Writer: James Dodson.
- Music: Pinar Toprak.
- Cinematography: Lorenzo Senatore.
- Editor: Ethan Maniquis.
- Distributor: 20th Century Fox.
- Release Date: 17 October 2006 (US).
- Running Time: 96 minutes.
- Country: US.
- Language: English.