The 33, film review: ‘Full of heroic miscasting’

14:58 03 February 2016

The 33. Picture: Warner Bros. Pictures

The 33. Picture: Warner Bros. Pictures

Archant

This retelling of the 2010 Chilean mining disaster can only engage in very basic disaster movie terms, laments Michael Joyce.

Director: Patricia Riggen 
Starring: Antonio Banderas, Rodrigo Santoro, Juliette Binoche, Lou Diamond Phillips, James Brolin and Gabriel Byrne 
Film Length: 127 mins

This Hollywood telling of the true story of the 33 Chilean miners who were stuck underground for 69 days before being rescued goes digging for drama but largely misses. It can clearly see where it is – the machinations of the government wondering if the good PR of mounting a rescue effort is worth risking millions of dollars on; the desperate family members gathered at the surface waiting for news; the claustrophobic intensity of being stuck underground with little food and water and even less of a chance of being rescued – but the film just can’t find a way to really work that seam.

Riggen can only engage with the story in very basic disaster movie terms. And then not very well: the initial collapse is underwhelming. It’s called The 33 but it’s all about the one: Banderas is the star and his miner, Super Mario, is the hero and the leader underground. We get to know a few of the others but really they are only there to bounce off the star.

At least he can do the accent. The story is told in English but with everybody doing the accent which leads to some heroic miscasting. There’s Binoche wandering around in a shawl, Bob Gunton (who was a White House Chief of Staff in 24) playing the Chilean president and Byrne as the head of the rescue team. None of them look or sound South American. Byrne’s character is like a plumber who turns up, takes one look at your pipes and shakes his head. Except that he doesn’t say, “phew, cost ya”; he says “That’s not a rock, it’s the heart of the mountain: it finally broke.”

Rating: 2/5

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Stories

BRIDGET GALTON meets the Jewish Chronicle’s literary editor Gerald Jacobs whose debut novel of familial love is set against the backdrop of the Holocaust

18:32

Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq has said she is willing to leave the shadow cabinet to vote against Brexit following the Supreme Court decision today that the matter must be put before Parliament.

17:01

The Premier League announced today that they are partnering with Cadbury, prompting us to devise a list of past and present Tottenham and Arsenal players with chocolatey-sounding names.

11:15

Friends of George Michael were today gathering outside his Highgate home to create a tribute garden to the singer on the green opposite his house.

12:33

Ricky Gervais provided a “fantastic” surprise for an East Finchley dog charity by donating the proceeds of a warm-up gig held at the Arts Depot.

Saracens are one step closer to defending their European crown after progressing into the quarter-finals following their thrilling 10-3 victory over French giants Toulon at Allianz Park on Saturday.

10:49

Rap God: was Eminem househunting in Hampstead? Plus a rental fit for a king on Regal Lane and a buy-to-let opportunity in Belsize feature in this week’s picks

Saracens’ forwards and defence coach Alex Sanderson fears a pre-match promise could now prove costly after the Hendon-based club completed the double over Toulon in their final European pool match.

Most read Hampstead & Highgate etcetera

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now