review by Bobby Blakey
Well Go USA continues to be the go to distributor for Asian cinema. Outside of their numerous martial arts epics they have offered up some great dramas and horror as well from all over the world including the US. The latest is the military thriller Mine starring Armie Hammer, Annabelle Wallace and Tom Cullen, Clint Dyer, Geoff Bell, and Juliet Aubrey.
Mine follows a U.S. soldier who, stranded in the desert for 52 hours after a mission falls apart, must fight for survival against his enemies, the hostile environment, and the creeping psychological toll of his treacherous situation. Going into this movie I wasn’t sure what to expect as the idea was interesting, but could they make it work for an entire film? I was pleasantly surprised to how good this movie ended up being and the depth of the story that is here. There is so much more going on here than just a guy stuck standing on a mine. This is an issue in its self for him to deal with and plays out in a fairly intense way as he struggles to survive until help can arrive, but its everything that goes on around it that makes it all the more compelling.
Armie Hammer does a great job here carrying the movie for a lot of the time alone which is no easy feat. I love that the entire story hinges on this war time threat and that any wrong move would end it. This causes him to relive numerous decisions and life changing moments as the likely hood of his survival grows ever more bleak. They made a good decision to not go to Hollywood here and force a bunch of action and instead just let it play out as a character study of this own man and his coming to terms with his life and mortality. There are some graphic moments here and there, but as a whole this is not an action film and instead so much more.
This is a different kind of war themed film that stands out on its own. It isn’t breaking down any barriers in the genre, but it does offer up something different than the norm. I found the ending kind of predictable, but that didn’t make it any less entertaining.