Starring Armie Hammer, Tom Cullen, Clint Dyer, Annabelle Wallis
Mine creates one of the most gut wrenching, impossible situations I’ve seen on cinema in a long time. The suspense in the first 26 minutes that leads us to a devastating situation is everything you expect from an action film putting the lead in dire circumstances. The big question is what happens next? You still have 79 minutes of movie left with Armie Hammer now completely immobile. I must remind you of 127 Hours, Phone Booth and Locke, three films where our protagonist gets “stuck” early in the film and still manages to captivate us for the remainder. Hammer (J. Edgar, The Lone Ranger) still has a lot to prove as a leading man but Mine is literally a step in the right direction for his career and a showcase of ability.
Following a botched take-down mission, Marine sharp shooter Sargent Mike Stevens (Hammer) and his communication officer Tommy Madison (Cullen) are chased into the desert where they are surrounded by a mine field of active explosives. Tommy’s inability to take danger seriously leaves him seriously injured and Mike’s left foot on a mine, unable to assist his best friend. Base-camp says it will be 52 hours before they can send a convoy to assist the men. “What about that no man let behind business,” Mike asks. The Marine must figure out how to survive without moving his foot until rescued. No water, no one in sight, and his backpack off to the side with a sand storm approaching, Mike fears he has taken his final step.a
Creates one of the most gut wrenching, impossible situations I’ve seen on cinema in a long time.
Directors Fabio Guaglione and Fabio Resinaro make their feature film debut with a suspense thriller that uses creativity to lure the audience to their edge of the seat. Mine offers an eerie silence in the first half of the film to exploit the isolation. The latter part of the film takes a page from Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours, relying heavily on hallucinations, distorted reality and flashbacks. This is where we begin to get character development on a guy we have already spent a decent amount of time with. All we know about Mike so far is that he is a stoic soldier with a dark past. Hammer steady’s the film and engages the audience with his performance and turns out an excellent choice for the role.
The editing style is completely different near the end, taunting the audience to decipher what’s real. For the 79 minutes Hammer is stuck and Mine keeps introducing challenges he must face including a sand storm that isn’t well conceived due to budget constraints. There are visitors in the desert that provide suspense, comedy and destruction. Many of these elements would have helped the pacing of the film if they were more evenly spread, instead of culminating in a final cluster of abstract, reality and jumbled narrative. Point being, Mine does prove somewhat successfully immobility doesn’t equal a slowed pace or boring material. Goes far beyond just a simple pocket thriller, it’s a as suspenseful and creative as anything you will find on screen this spring.
An engrossing and inventive thriller.