High Explosive (2001) starring Patrick Bergin, Désirée Nosbusch, Dan Petronijevic, Nina Muschallik, Mpho Lovinga directed by Timothy Bond Movie Review

High Explosive (2001)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Patrick Bergin in High Explosive (2001)

Bergin Plays Minesweeper

With civil war still raging on in Angola UN de-mining specialist Jack (Patrick Bergin) along with his team and visiting son are busy clearing the roads of the thousands of mines which have been planted over the years. But when things escalate Jack and his team along with doctor Hildy (Désirée Nosbusch) must exit the country as quickly as possible except a rogue faction of soldiers lead by General VanDamm (Ian Roberts) have targeted them.

For about 20 minutes "High Explosive" will get your attention as we listen to a prologue from actor Patrick Bergin talking about the war in Angola and he mentions Princess Diana and the mines which for me was enough to grab my attention. This was followed by a scene of a heavy mine clearing vehicle slowly covering a road, triggering the mines it passes over. And then we get more mine clearing as we watch Jack and his team clearing mines one by one, a scene which is both interesting and tense. Then to top it off we enter a hospital and see a doctor treating children with missing limbs.

Nina Muschallik in High Explosive (2001)

But whilst those 20 minutes deliver an insight into the civil war in Angola and the various issues with mines they also show us the worst of the movie. We have poor acting with a real lack of believability from some of the actors but we also have unbelievable characters such as Jack's arrogant son Tom who unsurprisingly always argues with his father. And we also have some unrealistic scenes such as one involving Tom riding his motorbike through a mine field like a cocky brat.

Unfortunately the worst is yet to come because after providing the insight into the war in Angola it turns escape movie with over the top action which whilst unsurprisingly is high on explosions as mines blow up is extremely orchestrated. Not just orchestrated but roughly edited so that it doesn't have the finesse of a big studio movie.

In the end whilst "High Explosive" has some good moments of insight you kind of end up remembering it for Nina Muschallik because she is attractive rather than because she plays Kat who works with Jack but is also Hildy's daughter. Aside from Muschallik the best performance comes from Bergin but is let down by poor dialogue and a storyline which goes from be interesting to throw away.

What this all boils down to is that "High Explosive" works well for the opening 20 minutes and has some good insights into the Angolan civil war but after that it descends into a throw away action movie.