Directed by Fabio Guaglione, Fabio Resinaro. With Armie Hammer, Annabelle Wallis, Tom Cullen, Clint Dyer. After a failed assassination attempt, ...

Review of "Mine" (2017)

Hi, welcome to Flixdown, here is your friend. Today, I’m going to explain a psychological thriller war film called “Mine”. Spoilers ahead! Watch out and take care! The movie begins with a hardened US marine, Mike saying goodbye to a young woman at the airport and travelling in a helicopter to his next mission.

Mike and his spotter Tommy are set up on a cliff overlooking a desert, waiting for their target to arrive in the next scene. Tommy is a chatterbox by nature, while Mike has a more serious disposition. They notice multiple people on foot on one side and multiple armed vehicles on the other approaching. Mike’s target is a 65-year-old terrorist Sayid Assiff. As Tommy and the voice over the radio trying to get Mike to make the hit, he realizes that the group has gathered for a wedding, and the target might be the groom’s father. Matter further complicates when the groom and bride block the target. Mike is ordered to take out the groom to get to the target, but he can’t bring himself to take an innocent life. Mike lies to his command centre that he lost the target. The duo is then spotted by armed men protecting the ceremony. Gun fire follows. The target immediately flees, while Mike and Tommy are forced to retreat as armed men chase them. Who would become a terrorist to guard a wedding couple in the middle of nowhere. While running, they damage their GPS and hide behind a rock formation.

Watch Out the LANDMINE!!

The armed men start walking towards the rock when Mike quickly creates a clever distraction to send them in the other direction. After evading the armed men, the duo requests an evacuation but are told they need to cross the desert in front of them to get to a village five hours away, where they can be picked up. They set out on foot, weathering sandstorms and scorching heat. Tommy entertains( perhaps annoys) Mike with the stories of his son back home. Seeing Mike silent and seemingly troubled by something, Tommy forces Mike to open up. Mike reveals that he is having a hard time proposing marriage to his girlfriend, Jenny. Tommy makes fun of him for being so scared and gives him advice that initially, weddings can be difficult, but you get the hang of it over time. While passing through the desert, the wind brings a warning sign flying right beneath their feet. Mike takes the movement seriously, recalling that 33 million landmines have been buried in the desert in the last 40 years. Tommy assures him it’s just a Berber trick to keep enemies away. Mike is still proceeding cautiously, his mind preoccupied with the warning sign. Tommy walks backwards carefreely a few yards before Mike, taking light-hearted digs at Mike for being an overthinker.

Suddenly a click sound is heard, and an explosion follows. Tommy had stepped on a landmine. As he goes temporarily deaf, Mike steps towards Tommy and hears another “click” where his foot just landed. He freezes in shock. The sand from the blast starts to clear out. Tommy has survived the explosion, but his legs below the knees have been amputated. Tommy screams and quivers in pain. Mike, unable to move, struggles to calm Tommy down. When nothing seems to work, Mike brings up Tommy’s son, which gives him some motivation, and he’s able to inject himself with the morphine marines carry in their front pocket. Tommy then tries to reach his radio, but the pain again takes over him. Seeing his partner in pain, Mike offers to take his foot off the landmine in order to help Tommy. Mike speculates that perhaps the landmine he stepped on is old and defunct.

Tommy warns him not to, and to dissuade Mike, he pulls out his gun and aims it on his head. He tells Mike that he must survive no matter what and shoots himself. Mike helplessly screams in grief. He is stuck in the desert all by himself unable to move. He soon gets tired of standing and gets on his one knee. Mike realizes he must somehow fetch the radio lying next to Tommy several yards away. He ties his shoelace to an axe to pull the radio bag towards himself.

How to Survive in Desert ???

However, he learns that the radio’s battery is dead and the spare is on Tommy’s body. Mike is dejected but thinks of another plan. He makes a makeshift arrangement to charge the radio using solar power. Mike is then able to contact his superiors. He requests immediate evacuation, but he is told that rescue choppers can’t fly to his location because of frequent sandstorms. If it all goes well, a convoy will rescue him in about 52 hours. Mike gets frustrated by the response. The major then suggests Mike try digging a ditch and jumping in it, which would “only” result in a non-life-threatening limb loss.

Mike decides to tough it out and wait for rescue, setting a countdown on his watch. Then, another massive sandstorm hits full force. He manages to wait it out without moving from his spot. Once it’s over, the first thing he realizes is that the storm has brought Tommy’s body (and therefore the spare battery) right next to him, yet the radio has drifted too far from his reach. Hours pass by. Mike runs out of water and gets increasingly desperate and at times wonders about shooting himself dead. He then notices a Berber coming towards him, walking in a zig-zag. Mike tries to warn him about the landmine, but the Berber imitates his actions, seemingly making fun of him. Mike tries to explain his ordeal to the Berber man, but he insists that Mike take the next step. He then takes Mike’s water flask and disappears into the desert. Completely dehydrated and desperate, Mike proceeds to drink his piss when he notices a little Berber girl coming his way bringing back his water flask. She hands it to Mike, and to his relief, it’s full of water. Mike quenches his thirst. Although the girl never speaks, using her toy soldiers, she too seemingly tells Mike that he must step off the mine and move on. Mike tells her that he can’t move and asks the little girl to fetch him his radio, but she doesn’t understand. Desperate, Mike gets too loud, scaring the girl away.

Soon, the night falls, and the temperature starts to drop. Mike lights a fire to keep himself warm. He starts hearing noises of wild animals. He takes out his phone and looks at the pictures of his girlfriend to keep himself distracted. He finds a video from his girlfriend. In the video, Jenny tells Mike that she is waiting for him. Mike must win the war and come back to her as soon as possible. Mike begins to get emotional. He is afraid that he might never see his girlfriend again. Tired of everything happening to him, he starts to fall asleep, but he snaps out of it to find that the fire has died out. He finds himself surrounded by wild animals. He tries to scare them with his gun but fails. Guess he should have watched a bit of ‘Man vs Wild’. The animals drag Tommy’s body away. One animal starts to proceed toward him but using his torchlight. Mike shoots the animal with his gun. The animal lands on a landmine, causing an explosion and scaring the other animals away.

The morning arrives, and the same Berber man again drops by. He tells Mike that he is fortunate to have survived thus far, even after stepping on a landmine and spending a night in the desert with wild animals. He once again suggests Mike step forward, but Mike doesn’t comply. Mike tells him that he probably knows the location of the mines as he always walks in a pattern. The Berber responds that he doesn’t know where the landmines are, and he only walks in a zig-zag because it is safer than walking straight. Mike again asks him to fetch his radio. The Berber man finally agrees and brings the radio back to Mike and then heads on his way. Mike checks his watch, and there are still 24 hours left for the help to arrive. He slowly starts hallucinating. Mike sees Tommy wake up from his death. The imaginary Tommy motivates Mike and tells him that he will get out of this alive.

The sun sets again, and Mike starts to think about all the mistakes he has made in his life. He starts regretting leaving his girlfriend Jenny alone and coming to the mission. He again finds himself surrounded by animals. This time even mine explosions do not deter them. Mike aimlessly starts shooting at them in the dark, but the animals still attack him. He gets lost in his thoughts as he fights off the wild animals. As the sun rises, Mike again descends back to reality. All the wild animals that attacked him lay dead around him. Despite being outnumbered, he managed to kill all the animals. Mike has been in that desert all alone by himself, with his foot over the mine, without moving for the last 45 hours. He then receives a communication from his senior, who informs him that the rescue team is running late. The senior asks him if he can hold on for 17 hours. Already way past his breaking point, Mike replies that he cannot go any further. The major tells him that there is someone who wants to talk to him. Mike then hears the voice of Jenny. Mike frantically starts apologizing to her for leaving her, for messing everything up and destroying everything he touches. He then starts hallucinating and sees Jenny sitting on a couch in front of him in the desert. He tries to reach her but starts losing strength.

He begins to collapse when Berber catches him seemingly arriving out of nowhere. The man starts nursing Mike’s wounds and tells him about when he too stepped on a mine, which took off his leg. He tells Mike that losing his leg felt like he had lost everything in his life. However, the pain of losing his leg was all washed away when he met his wife and had a daughter. He says that whatever happens in our life, we must keep moving on. Mike tells the man that he indeed is lucky as his daughter who brought him water is wonderful and has her father’s smile. The man tells Mike that he no longer has a daughter; she died in a mine explosion during their father-daughter excursions to dig out mines and replace them with tin cans. Mike listens, dumbfounded. The Berber tells him he’s happy his daughter came to meet Mike, but he needs to move on now.

In the END

Then, he leaves. Mike sees his daughter again. But, she quickly fades away with the wind. Mike starts to hallucinate again. He sees his abusive father, who used to beat his mother while he watched helplessly. He sees his terminally ill mother. He also considers the lovely times he spent with his girlfriend. At that moment, he hears that the rescue team is passing on the radio, and they need him to make his exact location known. He picks up his flare, but before he gets to use it, the terrorists start shooting at him from over the hill. The shooting triggers a mine explosion nearby, which sends the flare flying out of Mike’s hand and reach. He tries to fire back, but he is too weak. But he remembers his girlfriend and uses it as a motivation. Mike then uses his gun to shoot at ground and triggers mine explosions around him, creating sand smoke, shielding him from the enemy. He then quickly grabs his sniper rifle and eliminates the terrorists. With the rescue team passing by, the flare is still out of reach. Mike remembers the Berber man’s words that “You have to keep moving on”.

He takes a leap of faith and takes a step forward. Nothing happens; there’s no explosion. He finds that the mine he’d stepped on was, in fact, a tin can, probably placed there by the Berber’s daughter when she was alive. The villager’s words come to pass. This entire time, the villager told him that he could move forward with his life and go back to his girlfriend. He reminded him that he could do it and the only thing stopping him was fear. Mike is relieved to be alive despite the non-lethal gunshot wounds he sustained in the standoff. He starts bursting into tears. Maybe he was relieved knowing that he would be saved or angry for not realizing the correctness of the situation. Whatever be the reason, one thing was for sure, this incident would change his life completely, and he had learnt a valuable lesson. He then shoots the flare and collapses on the ground. The rescue team finds him, and he returns home. Back home at the airport, Jenny is waiting for him with happy tears in her eyes. Even before hugging her, he drops to one knee as he has done throughout different stages of his life. He then proposes.

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