Mine stars Armie Hammer as Mike, a sniper in the Middle East, along with his spotter, Tommy (Tom Cullen), who after they fail to take out a target, are on the move to their extraction point. Much to their displeasure they end up in a mine field. Since this happens a few minutes into the film I will divulge a plot device. Tommy steps on a mine and is killed. I only say this because Mike also steps on a mine, as well. He can’t move his foot off or he will be killed, as well. As if the situation is not bad enough his extraction has been delayed for fifty-two hours. He will have to stand in that position for fifty-two hours. With the hot sun beating down on him, wild animals, insurgents taking their shots at him, he must stay in that position or it is game over.
As you can imagine, we the viewers are stuck there right with Mike. It would not be so bad, but Mine’s story which starts out compelling quickly degenerates into a flashback soap opera. Mike starts to remember his mother, her abuse at the hands of his abusive father, his desire to marry Jenny (Annabelle Wallis, who will be starring with Tom Cruise in this summer’s The Mummy) despite Mike’s own demons of violence and he shows what he can do in a flashback to a bar room brawl. He even starts to get visits from the recently deceased Tommy. This would not be bad but it is shot in dull fashion and really says and does nothing for the film except fill time. Armie Hammer, however, is quite good as Mike as he is overcome with feelings of guilt, anger, love and regret all the while the elements around his present situation start to take their toll.
Once in a while he is visited by a local man only known as Berber and his little girl who can bring him water from the village but take forever to bring him batteries and the radio from Tommy’s pack fifty feet away. I mean, we have to make sure this movie’s run time gets up a bit. But in the end, Mine is an exercise in futility. The film plods along until the final act in which Mike finally faces all of his demons, so to speak. But since these demons are underdeveloped and given very little back story, they did not mean too much to me. I hardly ever talk negatively about the run time of a film, but for Mine which clocks in at 106 minutes, it was about fifteen minutes too long.
Italian filmmakers Fabio Guaglione and Fabio Resinaro (what are the odds two different people named Fabio who direct the same movie?) have written and directed Mine and as far as I can see this is their first full length feature film. Mine is beautifully shot by Sergi Vilanova who captures the desert with some rather impressive panoramic shots, but also manages to show a beleaguered Mike as he withers away under the elements. The score by Luca Balboni and Andrea Bonini is also quite effective Mike begins to lose hope he will ever be found by the right people.
Overall, though Mine is a tough film to slog through. After it settles in on one location it keeps breaking away for flashbacks that don’t add up to much, when the film has all it really needs with Armie Hammer who is impressive. The film does have a decent finish and it worked for me. Too bad the rest of the film was not as tightly written. Somewhere in Mine is a good film wanting to get out. This version is only half as interesting.
Mine – **1/2 out of 5
Mine – Rated R for language, graphic violence and gore
Mine – Run Time 106 minutes
Mine is now playing in select cities and is available On Demand and subscription services. Check your local listings for times, locations and availability.