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Review

'Landmine Goes Click' turns intriguing premise into hateful drag

A backpacking trip from hell unfolds in the beautiful mountains of Georgia (the country) in the ugly psychological thriller "Landmine Goes Click."

Directed and cowritten by Georgian filmmaker Levan Bakhia, the film follows three Americans whose trip turns nightmarish when Chris (Sterling Knight) steps on an old land mine. Is it an accident or revenge for a sexual infidelity?

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It's an interesting premise, but the film takes a massive downturn with the arrival of a local Georgian man, Ilya (Kote Tolordava), who happens upon Chris and Alicia (Spencer Locke). The two Americans hope that Ilya, who is the spitting image of a bespectacled Ron Jeremy, will help them. Instead, sensing desperation and vulnerability, Ilya plays a sadistic, sexually humiliating game with Alicia, forcing her to complete increasingly degrading tasks, until the inevitable, extended, graphic rape scene. Chris, on his land mine, can't save Alicia, and he vows his revenge, a task that he doggedly pursues to its darkest ends.

"Landmine Goes Click" offers up a nihilistic representation of humanity, where women are sexual conquests and pawns in mental torture games between men. Men are violent and vengeful psychopaths, driven only by the threat that their women might be sexually tainted. In this world, women take the brunt of the abuse and punishment for men's sins, with no reasoning or reprieve.

It's a shame that what could have been an intriguing situational thriller devolves into a hateful, arduous drag.

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"Landmine Goes Click."

No MPAA rating.

Running time: 1 hour, 50 minutes.

Playing: Laemmle NoHo 7, North Hollywood.

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