After a failed assassination attempt, a soldier finds himself stranded in the desert. Exposed to the elements, he must survive the dangers of the desert and battle the psychological and physical toll of the treacherous conditions.
|Release Date||:||October 6, 2016|
|Production Co.||:||Eagle Pictures, The Safran Company, Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali (MiBAC), Roxbury, SUN FILM, Mine Canarias|
|Production Countries||:||Italy, Spain, United States of America|
|Director||:||Fabio Guaglione, Fabio Resinaro, Juan Antonio Agulló|
|Writers||:||Fabio Guaglione, Fabio Resinaro|
|Casts||:||Armie Hammer, Annabelle Wallis, Tom Cullen, Geoff Bell, Juliet Aubrey, Clint Dyer, Luka Peroš, David Kirk Traylor, Ines Pinar Mille, Daniel Sandoval, Edoardo Purgatori|
|Plot Keywords||:||landmine, stranded, survival, soldier, desert|
- I Wish I'd Stepped On A Mine Insteadby 6 April 2017on
38 out of 51 people found the following review useful:
-Spoilers, but it'll help you save almost two hours.-
I give the film two stars because the berber guy played by Clint Dyer is really likable. I'd rather have seen a film about him and his story by itself.
They do some transitions between scenes/hallucinations that involve the main character Mike the sniper taking a step and then hearing a "click" like stepping on the mine as significant life events take place. Those transitions are really, really good. Too bad they didn't make a better film for them to be in.
Lore Sjoberg, professional sarcast, years ago coined what he calls "The Law of Cinematic Inaccuracy". "Movies get everything wrong. Hacking-based movies are laughable to hackers, military-based movies are laughable to members of the armed forces, and Indiana Jones movies are laughable to archaeologists." File this one in the military category.
It's glaringly obvious they either didn't hire any military script adviser or they didn't listen to that adviser. To anyone who's served or even been around anyone who's served in any nation's armed forces, it's terrible.
Marines don't call each other soldier, just like soldiers don't call each other "marine", and lawyers don't call each other "plumbers", and IT specialists don't call each other "deep sea divers".
American military missions (by ground force elements, for those rare few who've read about what happened during Red Wings from military sources and not from media) also don't leave people with no comms, nor stranded in the desert by themselves with no air or ground support for days.
They also have contingency plans, fallback points, rally points, recovery points, and so on. Missions (by ground force military elements) are not seat-of-your-pants things, especially as depicted in the film. The 5 Principles of Patrolling begins with "Planning".
Desert survival involves wearing something to block the sun. Hats are thrown away for dramatic effect to show actors sweating. It's silly. Everyone who's been in any desert knows this.
The generic "mid-east" war setting didn't bother me, but the fluff of people wandering through the desert to have a "wedding" was pretty lame. High value targets don't wander into dunes where air assets can spot them from 30 miles away, they shuffle around settlements.
The whole setup for the initial sniping scene is preposterous, especially when they give us specific information the filmmakers don't understand. They give an exact range for the target Mike's sniping at well over 1000 yards. I seem to recall it's 1708 - nearly a mile (1.6km). When a glint of light reflecting from his scope is spotted (because his hide sucks and he doesn't run a tenebraex killflash or sunshade tube like everyone else has for decades), ragged terrorists start dumping rounds on them at 1700 yards... which is a very tough shot for a very good sniper, and well outside of the effective range of guys with AKs.
The breakdown in discipline between the two "friends" and subsequent wandering into a minefield that's marked by a plot device sign landing literally at their feet is something that no one with discipline would ignore. But Mike the sniper and his friend do, and his friend gets his legs blown off for his troubles, which is the only scene I laughed at because the wagging stumps were somewhat limited technically, but mainly because it was so hackneyed and plainly stupid. There was zero subtlety, and the film failed with its intended mission there completely. It could've been a really disturbing moment, but because it was so front-loaded it came as a joke like Dead Meat in Hot Shots.
Mike gets his buddy to calm down enough to hit himself up with the morphine that he carries...which ain't exactly standard issue. And then after some more war hackneyed war tropes play out, Mike is left in the desert standing on a mine by himself having heard the "click" movie mines make that real ones tend not to.
From there, we get all the lazy hack writer crap you could stuff into the film, from having to save his girlfriend Jenny from 5 "ranger/delta" guys who apparently are not professionals but instead loud abusive drunks who go to bars in partial uniforms, fighting with his abusive dad/stepdad, watching his mom die, not knowing why he's fighting, yadda yadda.
He gets stalked by the wolf from 300, he does a Bear Grylls and drinks his own urine, he has some more hallucinations, and it's just all around the kind of stuff you'd expect to see in this kind of movie that's trying to be smart but just can't make it.
One of the highlights was the berber, but he rather quickly falls into becoming the trope of "magic negro" who helps the white man learn a valuable life lesson. If it were slightly less blatant, it would've worked better, but frankly I could see Clint Dyer carrying a whole film as the berber in a totally different kind of movie.
The group I watched this with started calling out what would happen next, and by the end of the film, we had guessed pretty much the entire course of the movie, with the exception being the berber's interaction with mines.
The very ending is a mess, but by that point you won't care anyway.
In summary: if you want to make an intelligent, introspective look at humanity by trapping a character alone with their thoughts in a desperate situation, watch this first to see what errors to avoid. Otherwise, treat it like UXO and stay far away and call EOD to detonate it in place.
- This isn't an action movie, nor does it claim to be.by 10 April 2017on
16 out of 24 people found the following review useful:
If you go into this expecting war action, you'll be severely disappointed. Exhibit A: the low ratings of some reviewers here.
This isn't a war movie or an action movie. It's the story of a man facing his inner demons in the context of war. I think the directors did a phenomenal job creating a true thriller with literally little action. Armie Hammer's performance was superb; I only started watching the movie because Armie has the kind of looks that God took extra time creating, but as the movie progressed I forgot about the actor and saw only the character. Two thumbs up!
I highly recommend this title, having withheld 10 stars only because the Berber got on my nerves at times and I found the twist at the end irritating.
- When you know whats coming!! its kind of boringby 6 April 2017on
28 out of 48 people found the following review useful:
It was too obvious, it did not have any surprisingly turns ore twist of any kind. And the main actor is to typical American patriot, i go to war and i don't know why, i am a soldier and so on.. And all the time you know whats coming next, and that makes it boring.. waste of time if you are not very narrow and just want to waste time and eat popcorn.
- Don't waste your timeby 18 April 2017on
21 out of 35 people found the following review useful:
I immediately stopped watching after about 10 minutes when a supposedly trained sniper got caught when his scope seen flaring. I mean, seriously???? How stupid is that??? Anyway, read all the reviews and thankfully did not waste any time watching it. Good trailer though but its a shame it was not good.
- Movie so boring even the mine gives upby 4 May 2017on
7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
This movie is actually not that terrible. It is full of inaccuracies, mistakes and failures - but this seems to be quite common these days. I see not a big problem here.
The fundamental problem is insane, excruciating boredom of it. The guy basically stands on a mine for most of the length of the flick doing nothing but hallucinating. It is absolutely beyond any acceptable level, this is really Guantanamo-torture-level of boredom. Literally nothing happens for so long time that even the mine itself gives up.
The movie is excruciatingly long, at almost two hour is absolutely unbearable. If the movie would be closer to one hour it might be somewhat acceptable, but let's be straight - this is story for a short movie. It is not thrilling, not exciting, just exhausting.
If you want a way better drama about the guy who is stuck on a mine, try No Mans Land (2001) instead. Way way better movie!
- Badly researched and poorly executedby 30 April 2017on
6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
I was really looking forward to seeing this movie but as an ex serviceman myself I couldn't believe that there were so many mistakes in the first 15 minutes. So many that I just had to turn the film off.
Trained sniper won't fire because it's a wedding,
Trained sniper given away by lense flare,
Walking through the desert no hats,
Going on desert op with next to no water,
Buddy steps on mine, first priority... not stabilising the patient to stop him bleeding out...but getting on the radio back to base.
If you want to see a good movie of a similar style and story-line then watch Kajaki. It's a true story and perfectly executed. Give this one a miss!
- Water is wet, you can't have a movie that ignores realityby 26 April 2017on
7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Sorry but the main setup of the movie is fatally flawed. Mines don't go click and if yous step on one it doesn't do nothing until you step off of it, it goes off because once you step on it you will have tripped the mechanism that lights the fuse. It might not go off for a second or 2 depending on the timing of the mine but it will go off whether you keep walking or just stand on it.... So this fatal flaw is enough to make you stop watching after the first 10 minutes... Did we mention the "sniper" that has second thoughts about shooting the target because it happens to be a wedding? Again complete disregard for reality... a sniper that was trained and sent on a mission like this would never be some wussy that loses his nerve so again it just makes up stuff to make the story go where they wanted to go with it ignoring reality.
- Greatby 17 April 2017on
11 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
Critics like always slamming good films just cuz they take a different approach than what they wanted.
The films revolves around this marine who is stuck in a land mine and while there is not much to do on that situation, the film follows along with the metaphor of "Man stuck on his own path" and he needs to learn to move on.
I found it interesting and this becomes a battle of endurance of the mind as it is of the body.
Great performance from Armie Hammer!!
- Give me back my timeby 30 April 2017on
5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Additionally to all the goofs and error that other people pointed, there is a stupid scene repeated to death with his wife (already mentioned, but as a good thing) that I couldn't understand why it was included. Anyway, I decided to finish it with a bit of FF in the middle. By the time the movie was at middle, it was too late to start another.
I watched it because I really liked Kajaki (man, that is a tremendous movie) and the 6 points here. I think that all those who contributed to that 6 should't give me back my time too.
- First Half: 10; Second Half: Barely 5by 5 April 2017on
15 out of 28 people found the following review useful:
The first (almost) half is taut and thrilling, with unexpected twists and a superb pace, the rest of it - not so much. It's almost as if different writers contributed to the separate halves of the movie. The psychological tension it strives for is burdened by cliché domestic drama; the romantic angle is a drag and slacks the movie. The semi-mystical, surreal elements and wide, solitary shots of desert expanses were gripping.
P.S. The protagonist was very good-looking and makes for a very convincing US Marine soldier, so it makes the boring parts tolerable.
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