DEAD MINE (BLU-RAY)
Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
What's it about
A treasure hunter assembles a team to venture deep into an Indonesian jungle to search for lost gold become trapped in a mine that was used by the Japanese back in WWII...and they aren't alone.
Is it good movie?
About half an hour into the movie, I had the feeling I'd seen this
movie before. If you've seen 2007's Outpost (though the stylistic
comparisons don't end there- you can catch whispers of Night of the
Living Dead, Aliens and more recently, the Mist within this one), this
movie's story is quite similar with the mercenaries trapped in a bunker
with crazy WWII experiments. The similarities don't end there as
the movie is pretty formula up until the big reveal in the third act
which I thought had an interesting twist but led up to a weak ending.
The lead character, jerky mission leader Warren Price (Les Loveday) is
more or less a selfish jerk, and he's got an equally annoying
self-centered girlfriend (Carmen Soo). Of course, his "historical
guide" (Miki Mizuno) has deep, dark secrets about the mine. The
characters are just
too thin to really enjoy- you have the Captain (Ario Bayu) who's
getting out (not the treasure), the captain's strong and tough
right-hand man (Bang Tigor), a violent ex-military type (Sam Hazeldine)
and a couple of heavies to balance thigns out (Mike Lewis and Joe
Taslim). Performances from the main actors are average with
wooden dialogue which didn't help liven up the movie. It's just so lame
and familiar (the out of his element despicable American, the warrior
type, it's all stuff you've seen before) that the whole experience
comes off as unquestionably shallow. There's just nothing to our
characters, no matter how much they try to infuse the flick with
I enjoyed the balance between the lush, green jungles and the gritty,
disgusting bunker. The movie also has a moody score that works
well later on when the movie picks up. The problem is that while the
setting is interesting, the story about bringing dead soldiers back to
fight in war has been done many times. The only real difference
here is cultural, which doesn't prevent it from following the same old
familiar horror cliches. While the world is fairly typical, at least
the film manages to create a decent sense of tension and general
While the film looks good, one gripe I have with the look is that
everything is too brightly lit. The Descent-like creatures that are
meant to be scary just don't look it under all those lights. They're
just brutal at times, to the point where it's hard not to focus on how
hilarious they can look- it's not pretty. Why couldn't they just be a
bit darker? The movie isn't overly gory but the moments it did
choose to be are delightfully entertaining and one of the few redeeming
moments of the movie.
Dead Mine just isn't enough. It borrows heavily from far better films
and doesn't innovate or instill a proper sense of fun, dread, interest
or gore. Too bad.
Video / Audio
2.35:1, 1080p widescreen is the
order of the day, with shockingly excellent visuals to boot- almost
nothing to complain about here!
Audio is also surprisingly
excellent, sporting a DTS-HD
Master Audio 5.1 track that is fully featured, well mixed and
has great surround balance. Excellent stuff here.
Only thing we get here's a trailer.
Ultimately, Dead Mine is a watchable but totally forgettable film. A
cool location isn't enough to set it apart from the better films that
came before it. The film is shot fairly well (and the Blu-Ray looks and sounds great!), but the characters suck,
the makeup is pretty flawed, and you kind of have a good idea where
things are going before they get there.