When you pay your hard-earned money, or ill-gotten gains, to go to the movie theatre it’s a big step (pun intended). It costs a lot of money these days and so you must be sure that what you are going to see is going to be good, that you’ll enjoy it.
Part of this is the suspension of beliefs. I don’t mean religious beliefs, I mean you need to have a certain amount of going with the flow, letting things slide. Now, this is not easy and for film-makers it’s a very fine line to walk. Ask too much of an audience and it’s game over, they won’t always follow you down the rabbit hole.
We regularly let the fact that a sports car, or a motorbike, is a much faster vehicle in a getaway chase. Yet they always seem to keep up with one and other. We except the fact that, in the movies, shooting at a car usually means it will explode, rather than just punch holes in it, equally we except that crouching behind a car door, or a car, can protect you from bullets. We know these things not to be true, but we let them slide, sometimes.
Things brings me nicely onto Mine starring Armie Hammer (The Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Lone Ranger) as a soldier who finds himself stranded in the desert with his foot on a mine after his friend has just exploded from stepping on one. He must wait for days for rescue, exposed to the elements, fending off animal attacks, cold and sandstorms, all the while not moving his left foot.
Should you decide to watch Mine, your viewing will go one of two ways. Either, you will allow yourself the suspension of belief after belief and think it’s not a bad film. Or, you’ll get about ten, maybe twenty minutes in and turn it off, screaming about the many faux-pas that are made.
We’ve seen these lone movies before, remember Ryan Reynolds buried alive? Writer / directors Fabio Guaglione and Fabio Resinaro (The Silver Rope (Short), Y/N: You Lie, You Die) take our action into the desert which means they get the added advantage of playing with hallucinations and mirages and things unique to the desert.
The issue, or issues, is that there are many ‘oh come on’ moments to get there. First, we have a sniper who won’t shoot for reasons that aren’t entirely clear. Then we have a sniper rifle that gets spotted by sun-glare, despite rifles having shades to prevent such a thing these days. There’s the question of how the two-soldiers got to the middle of this desert in the first place as they don’t have any transport.
We then get to the actual mine bit and foot goes down, click is heard, it’s a mine. Hammer even takes the step of sliding his knife under his foot to check. But that’s all he does. He doesn’t attempt to uncover the mine, dig around it, see if there’s not some way out. No. He just stands there, foot on a mine. A trained soldier. Not even attempting to look at what he’s stepped on. There’s also a ‘local’ villager who visits Hammer quite regularly, despite the village being over 2-hours away apparently.
Now, should you not have a problem with any of that, if you’re happy to suspend your beliefs and stick with it. You’re treated to a not half-bad movie. Hammer is good as the soldier with Tom Cullen (Downton Abbey, Happily Ever After) as his fallen comrade and Clint Dyer (Sus, Montana) as the Berber who visits him.
There’s obviously a back-story to Hammer’s character, why is he here, why is he a soldier, and we’re taken through this in flashback/hallucination form. Some of these can be a tad laborious and really, more should have been done from the hallucination side of things instead of sticking with the flashbacks, but the way Fabio & Fabio play with the imagery is nice and how they finally link everything back is pretty cool as well.
Sadly, Mine should, and could, have been a lot better than it is. It’s littered with clichés, rookie mistakes, call them what you will, but they detract from everything else that the film-makers are trying to get across. It’s also a tad obvious in the majority of places. Not quite, best foot forward.