Landmine Goes Click
R2 - United Kingdom - Icon Home Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: Matthew Crossman (26th July 2016).
The Film

Three American tourists are on vacation in the country of Georgia. Daniel (Dean Geyer), his girlfriend Alicia (Spencer Locke) and Chris (Sterling Knight) drive their jeep deep into the countryside and then hike to a remote area to admire the views. On the way Daniel stops the jeep so that he can urinate and whilst he is out of the car Chris and Alicia have a brief conversation. It appears that despite Alicia and Daniel being a couple Alicia and Chris have had sexual contact behind Daniel's back and Chris, Daniel's best friend, wants to tell Daniel whilst Alicia is adamant that the pair should just forget that the whole episode ever happened. The three friends hike up a large hill and at the top Daniel suggests that Chris 'marry' them. Chris is reticent and makes a half hearted approach to the 'ceremony' before going back down to make camp. Daniel and Alicia are to be married in a week's time after the vacation and Chris clearly has feelings for Alicia. Later that night, around the camp fire, Daniel demands to know why Chris acted as he did atop of the hill and Daniel mistakenly thinks it is because his friend will feel left out once Daniel and Alicia are wedded. The next morning Chris awakens and exits his tent to find a man he has never seen before going through Alicia's rucksack. He confronts the man and attacks him thinking that he is stealing but at that moment Daniel and Alicia return and explain to Chris that the man is a forest ranger called Devi (Giorgi Tsaava) and that he is helping them. Chris apologises and Devi offers to take a photograph of the three friends together. Devi arranges them in a poses and just before he takes the picture there is a click noise under Chris' foot. Devi pleads with everyone to remain still and then explains that Chris is standing on a land mine. Apparently they have set up camp in an area where a war had taken place and if Chris moves the landmine will explode killing him. Devi offers to go and get help but this could take over four hours. Devi leaves and Daniel and Alicia try and get a signal for their mobile telephone. Daniel manages to make a call and then at the end of the call he tells Alicia that no one is coming because they don't save whores. It seems that Chris has told Daniel of his sexual dalliance with Daniel's fiancée and is not very happy about it. Daniel has arranged for the landmine to be placed where it was and, with the help of Devi, arranged for Chris to stand on it. He then leaves Alicia and Daniel leaving Alicia a shovel telling her that the only chance Chris has is if Alicia digs a trench close by that Chris can jump into. Alicia starts to dig but after many hours she has not managed to dig deep enough. With the sun going down Alicia and Chris are stranded in the remote Georgian countryside and then a man with a dog stumbles across them. His name is Ilya (Kote Tolordava) and he offers to help but it seems that his price for helping might be a bit too high.

For a relatively low budget film 'Landmine Goes Click' is quite a polished affair. Director and Writer Levan Bakhia flexes his directorial muscles behind the camera to offer the viewer a variety of angles from sweeping high in the sky below the three friends to hand held camera shots later on after Chris steps on the landmine. It looks very good but where the film falls down is in the script department. Initially the scenario is an interesting one but a difficult one to sustain over it's 110 minute running time. A large chunk of the film (around forty five minutes) is all about Chris standing on the landmine and Alicia trying to come up with ideas to save him. Things are livened up when Ilya arrives but his intentions are telegraphed so much that the audience is always at least two steps ahead of Chris and Alicia. I imagine this was done specifically to build suspense but as the scenes play out I doubt anyone would go that far. Bakhia seems to let the actors ad-lib as well which means many of the scenes run too long. One of the other problems with 'Landmine Goes Click' are the characters. Not one of them is likeable in any way shape or form. Daniel is willing to kill his best friend and possible his fiancée because they had sex behind his back. I'm sure finding out was upsetting but is the answer really killing them both? Chris is the opposite of Daniel. He is shown to be weak (in his attempt to fight off Diva) and is whiny and quite annoying. He also goads Ilya several times when it would clearly be preferable that he kept his mouth shut. Alicia comes off the better of the three but she was still willing to have sex with Chris despite clearly being with Daniel for some length of time. Also the film seems to have it's timeline muddled up as the evening before Chris steps on the landmine is would appear that Daniel still does not know of Chris and Alicia's brief affair yet the next morning he has hatched the plan and planted the landmine, and engaged the services of Diva. Clearly Chris has told Daniel previous to this happening which makes a bit of a nonsense of almost everything that the characters do in the first fifteen minutes. Perhaps I'm being too picky but I was also not a fan of how the film descended from being a suspenseful thriller in the first forty five minutes to a torture porn film for it's remaining running time. Also, for those that do not 'like' this sort of thing, there is a protracted rape scene that is slightly reminiscent of 'I Spit on Your Grave' about fifty five minutes in. Whilst it's done relatively tastefully (meaning there is no nudity) it is hard to watch and running for over two minutes it does out stay it's welcome. 'Landmine Goes Click' is an interesting film which sadly loses it's way around the halfway mark.

Video

Icon Entertainment's DVD of the film is presented in it's original anamorphic aspect ratio of 2.35:1 The picture quality is excellent as you would expect from a film just over a year old. The countryside especially is presented in a good manner and the Director's choice of shots are presented well. The greens of the forest and surrounding meadows are solid and I certainly had no complaints with the picture quality of the DVD.

Audio

There is no choice in how to listen to the soundtrack. The only option is the English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo soundtrack. The film is mainly dialogue based so it's understandable that this is the case and I have no real qualms with it but of course it comes across as very centred and quite flat. English HoH subtitles are provided for those viewers that are hard of hearing.

Extras

Disappointingly the disc is pretty bereft of extras.

Introduction (2.17) - Once again, as with the other Frightfest Presents DVD's that are available we have a brief introduction from Paul McEvoy and Alan Jones. The pair do a good job of selling a film I presume you have already purchased and thankfully don't give too much away (in all fairness I've given much more away in my review above but still not enough to spoil the film I hope).

Trailers - The only other 'extra' on this disc are the following trailers which have featured on all the other Frightfest Presents discs. Disappointing.
- The Unfolding (1.35)
- Curtain (1.16)
- Last Girl Standing (1.49)
- The Lesson (1.37)
As you can see the makers of the disc have omitted the trailer for the discs feature presentation.

Overall

'Landmine Goes Click' is an interesting premise that, I feel, wastes it's unique storyline to a degree. Whilst the Director and the cast put in very, very good performances the script lets the side down. With it's themes, later in the film, of rape and torture, it can be a difficult film to watch but thankfully it's all done reasonable tastefully and never dips it's toe into the more salacious are misogynistic side. Still despite these faults that are not game changers and I still think that 'Landmine Goes Click' is an interesting, if flawed, film.

The Film: B+ Video: A Audio: B Extras: D- Overall: B-

 


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