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Mine: Compelling Psychological Thriller Lacks Focus to Drive Drama Home

  • Annabelle WallisArmie Hammer...
  • Thriller
  • Fabio GuaglioneFabio Resinaro
reviewed by
Marija Djurovic
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Mine: Compelling Psychological Thriller Lacks Focus to Drive Drama Home

In telling the story of a soldier who finds himself stranded alone in a desert minefield via a one-man-survival-show format a la Buried or 127 Hours, war movie, Mine, is stylishly shot, although somewhat flawed.

The story is set somewhere in the war zone of North Africa and it introduces us to two Army Rangers, sniper Mike (Hammer) and his loyal spotter Tommy (Cullen), who are tasked with assassinating the leader of their enemy in a remote desert location. Huddled on a ridge, the two soldiers patiently wait for their target to make an appearance, having been given their instructions over the radio that their target is sitting in the last car of the convoy that soon appears.  However, the colour of the car is wrong and Mike soon begins to doubt and hesitates to shoot.  Things get even more complicated when they realise that the group of enemies below them has gathered for a wedding, making Mike’s decision of shooting the father of the bride even harder.

Unable to take the shot, Mike decides to lie to his commanding officers and ultimately, allows his target to leave.  However, the two soldiers soon find themselves caught in a sandstorm which destroys their equipment and finds the two rangers stranded on a minefield.  After Tommy manages to step on a mine and get himself blown up – we haven’t revealed anything here for you that the trailers already haven’t – Mike soon realises that he has stepped on one as well.

The simplicity of the concept is probably one of Mine’s biggest attractions, while the cinematography of the sweeping desert vistas and the harrowing silence that accompanies it, manages to successfully capture the starkness of the situation at hand. However, while there is pleasure to be taken from this rather refreshing – and ultimately stylish – approach to a war-thriller narrative, the concept does come up against a few problems. It’s weighed down by philosophical conundrums that aren’t explored enough to matter and while Hammer is truly the driving force of the movie, his backstory does lack the weight needed for audiences to connect to his character.

Boasting an interesting and relatively compelling premise, Mine, technically speaking, does manages to tick all of the right boxes. However, although refreshingly simple in structure, the directors’ struggle to maintain the necessary focus or drive.

Like This? Try

Buried (2010), 127 Hours (2010), The Hurt Locker (2008)

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The film was shot in Forteventura, Spain

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