• Review: Landmine Goes Click (2015)

    From David N. Butterworth@21:1/5 to All on Sat Dec 24 19:26:37 2016
    A film review by David N. Butterworth
    Copyright 2016 David N. Butterworth

    *1/2 (out of ****)

    The backpacking protagonists of Levan Bakhia's new film must not have seen
    "An American Werewolf in London" (backpackers come to grief on the
    Yorkshire Moors) or "Wolf Creek" (backpackers come to grief in the
    Australian Outback) or "Hostel" (backpackers come to grief in a Slovakian
    YMCA) or any of the innumerable other films in which jaunty hikers meet
    with grisly ends. Because despite all these warnings, one of our personality-impaired heroes steps on an unexploded mine while backpacking through ravaged, post-war Georgia (the country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia, not the U.S. state) and "Landmine Goes Click."
    Aha. Should Chris (Sterling Knight) move even a muscle--lift his foot
    or breathe a little too heavily--landmine goes boom. It's an interesting predicament, certainly. Does he try leaping to safety at the risk of
    losing a limb--or more--in the process? Or does he attempt the equivalent
    of that Indiana Jones trick, the one at the beginning of "Raiders'" when
    Indy deftly switches out a grinning gold idol for a carefully-weighted
    sandbag to avoid triggering some murderous mechanism? Or does Chris simply wait for the cavalry to show up? But this is rural Georgia, after all, and there's no cavalry, or even a cell phone signal. Poor Chris. His troubles--and ours--are only just beginning.
    Not only is there some dramatic tension between Chris and his fellow backpackers Alicia (Spencer Locke) and her fianci Daniel (Dean Geyer)
    *before* Chris steps on the bomb, but that friction is ratcheted up exponentially when a greasy local (Kote Tolordava, an Eastern bloc Ron
    Jeremy lookalike) enters the fray, shotgun in hand and menacing Rottweiler
    at his side. Oh he'll help all right, but for a price, a price which is subsequently negotiated ad nauseum. Next up: a tedious, unpleasant, and frankly ridiculous scene, echoing the uber nasty pedestrian underpass
    sequence in Gaspar Noe's "Irreversible" (not a fan of that film either,
    truth be told).
    Strangely and awkwardly, "Landmine Goes Click" jumps forward in time following some cheesy superimpositions and we're treated to a final fifty minutes as revolting and illogical as its first sixty, with violence
    towards women once again the predominant theme.
    "Landmine Goes Click" ("...for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of
    Georgia," perhaps?) is a cheap exploitation flick of the most base and
    inhumane variety, with inconsistent acting, incongruous editing, and some laughable model work.
    Simply put, it's a bomb.

    David N. Butterworth

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