What’s so funny about babes, love, and refugee camps? Not much, especially when the story’s wrapped around the sultry Angelina Jolie and ”Gosford Park”’s hunky Clive Owen (the British George Clooney), obsessively driven to aid the dispossessed and obsessively passionate about each other in Beyond Borders.
Director Martin Campbell’s adventure-romance came under critical attack during its theatrical release for using the refugee crisis as a love-story backdrop. Sure, the crisp white skirt that Jolie’s privileged housewife wears to Ethiopia doesn’t get dirty, Owen’s doctor becomes a gunrunner, and complex politics are glossed over. A soapy actioner with a solid cast, exotic landscapes, and palpable human suffering, ”Borders” is a guilty pleasure — with a conscience — and possibly the best advertisement the Peace Corps never bought.
EXTRAS Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations, appreciated the film’s authenticity, according to the director-producer commentary. And behind-the-scenes docs reveal African tribespeople, working as ”Borders” extras, breaking into song between takes.