Hot Take: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! The 33 is a good rescue spoiled. You feel all 69 days of the 33 miners trapped in a well in Chile. Every single one of them!
There’s a story worth telling about the 33 miners trapped in a Chilean mine in 2010 for over two months. The 33 doesn’t bother to tell it, unfortunately. But there’s definitely a story there. You’ll see it buried under the two hour feel-good, crowd-pleaser that often feels more like root canal than a rescue.
The 33 isn’t a terrible movie. It’s just a terribly boring movie. The heart of the film is in the right place and a few of the performances (Antonio Banderas, for one) are compelling but the news coverage of the event 5 years ago was more entertaining.
The 33 isn’t without it’s problems (in addition to it being boring). Some of the casting decisions are puzzling. Gabriel Byrne, Juliette Binoche and Bob Gunton stick out, in particular. Then there’s a weak script and the death of a group of miners during the collapse of the mine present for dramatic effect and then never referenced again. Why do their families never show up? They are the reality equivalent of the nameless Star Trek Away team members wiped out at the start of a more tense episode.
With a story so known due to the widespread coverage of the disaster in 2010, it’s disappointing there wasn’t much of an effort to tell a less known version of the event. If you can stay awake, it’ll pay off with a heartwarming ending but even then, it’s basically a reenactment of something many have already seen.
“Spoiler Free” Pros
- Antonio Banderas
Banderas plays “Super Mario” Sepulvedo and delivers one of the strongest performances of the film. It occasionally feels like “The 1 & The Other 32” but it adds to more than subtracts from the movie.
- James Horner’s Score
It’s one of two Horner scores recorded before his death and released posthumously. It’s not the incredible Titanic score but it’s, as always, great work by one of the best.
“Spoiler Free” Cons
- Very Little New Ground Broken
There’s not much new to be learned from The 33. Even the stories of the miners were well publicized in 2010 to the point where it creates less compelling viewing as the film attempts to give insight on 10 of the 33 who get more featured.
- Avoiding the Darker Side of The 33‘s Plight
From the way it treats the death of the other group of miners to the way the film passively mentions the mining company’s awareness and ignoring of the dangerousness of the mine, it’s quickly realized this film is about feeling good and not feeling anything else. Unfortunately, it feels like it could have been done differently… and better.