In Michael Haneke’s Funny Games — both the Austrian original and his Hollywood remake — an innocent family is relentlessly brutalized by motiveless assailants for the cinematic purpose of forcing our noses into the filth: You call this entertainment?
Set in rural Georgia (country, not state), Levan Bakhia’s Landmine Goes Click is an empty-headed, two-pronged revenge thriller that fuels Haneke’s thesis with a preposterous, self-satisfied setup. American tourist Daniel (Glee‘s Dean Geyer) plots against his fiancée, Alicia (two-time Resident Evil butt-kicker Spencer Locke), after learning she’s slept with his best man, Chris (Disney Channel regular Sterling Knight).
The secret comes out during the trio’s backpacking trip, after Chris steps on a land mine Daniel has planted out of vengeance. Left to dig a trench to maybe save her friend, Alicia next faces a wandering local (the late Kote Tolordava) with a rifle, a riled-up mutt, and a proclivity for mind games and rape.
The film suddenly jumps in time and changes scenery at its midpoint for more violent payback, but mediocre acting and implausible behavior (over half of the characters are easily, psychotically triggered) undercut the tension. It’s an exploitation film that never gets its audience off, even with cheap thrills — what a dud.
Landmine Goes Click
Directed by Levan Bakhia
Opens November 6, IFC Center