This movie features a strong performance by James Franco, who has been nominated for a best actor Oscar. He draws the viewer into his pain. As I screened this film I felt his anger, his frustration, his hopelessness and finally his desperation as he cuts off his own arm in order to survive having been trapped for five days in an isolated canyon, his right arm pinned beneath a boulder which fell as he did. A tourniquet he has wrapped himself is his only hope of survival. But can he find someone who can help him before someone finds him too late?
The film does a nice job in capturing his regrets as he thinks back to not returning his mother’s last phone call to him, and also his consistent habit of not telling anyone where he is headed. He thinks about his family and remembers his childhood. He also has a premonition of a future life with a wonderful woman and even as a father as he sees a young child in what seems to be a dream or vision. But can he survive to give that future a possibility?
Unfortunately, despite Franco’s stirring performance and the tight direction of the film, it contains a lot of utterances of the F bomb and the realistic scene involving his dismembering his own arm will be too much for some viewers to stomach. Therefore, we regret we cannot award our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal to the film.