The 33: Movie Review
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Trapped deep beneath the Earth's surface, 33 men fought to survive and struggled to not lose hope that they would be rescued...in time. Their inspirational, true story is the subject of Warner Brothers' new film, The 33, starring Antonio Banderas, Lou Diamond Phillips, Rodrigo Santoro, Juliette Binoche, Gabriel Byrne, among others.
Rated PG-13, The 33 is suitable for older moviegoers, and one that believers will especially appreciate. Unfortunately, it's formulaic, a weakness that keeps it from being a truly groundbreaking film.
THE MOVIE IN A MINUTE
Mario Sepulveda (Banderas) and Don Lucho (Phillips) go deep into the Chilean caves with 31 of their fellow workers like any normal workday. Mining for gold is their job and their safety is their employer's, a trust that is soon broken. Just after arriving to their posts for a long day's work, the mountain violently shifts. The gigantic rock moves with such a force that the miners are forced further underground to find refuge. It's deep beneath the Earth's surface that the miners struggle to stay alive for 69 days.
THE GOOD AND BAD IN THE 33
One strength The 33 has going for it is the film's strong message of faith. As was the case in this real-life story, the miners turn to prayer. The film's ending even focuses on a wall where they had written the declaration: "God was with us". This retelling doesn't paint these men as saints; one was an adulterer, another an addict, and one more a racist. The 33 shows these real men in an impossible situation and how faith is their salvation.
The film's varied cast meshes together, for the most part. Banderas as the hero, Super Mario (as he's nicknamed), is a standout in The 33. Binoche, born in France, is wonderful and almost unrecognizable at first as a miner's sister. A few on the cast wouldn't have been this critic's first choice, but the core group of miners served the story well.
Rated PG-13 for a disaster sequence and some language, The 33 is inappropriate for younger audiences. Offensive language pops up every now and then. One of the characters has a mistress on the side, a point of "comedic" conflict for her and the miner's wife.
IN THE END
The cast's passion for retelling this remarkable story on the big screen for a worldwide audience to see is evident. It's a real education about what truly happened in that mine during those 69 days, as well as, all of the obstacles the workers on the surface faced and had to overcome to free them. Had The 33 been less rigid, it would get a higher rating.
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