Monday, March 14, 2011


or: 90 minutes of Ryan Reynolds in a box.

One word to sum it up: Exhilarating.

If anything, 2010 was the year when films decided to trap people. They trapped James Franco in a canyon and made him lop his arm off in 127 Hours. They trapped a whole lot of people in an elevator written by Shyamalan in Devil. They trapped a whole lot of people in the cinema to witness the horrible Sex and the City 2. But the most exciting of all? When they trapped Ryan Reynolds, a.k.a the sexiest man alive, in a coffin six feet under for 90 minutes, in Buried. Being the big Reynolds fan that I am, this was to be my dream. And it was my dream. Even if the ending pissed me off to no end and I was envious of the creativity within this film.

So, the plot is extremely straightforward. Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds) is a truck driver working as a contractor in Iraq. He wakes up in a box. He soon realizes he can't get out of the box. And there isn't a lot of air left for him. He has a cigarette lighter to help him along and a working mobile phone which allows him contact with the outside world. One part of the outside world tells him that he will only be let out if someone gives his captor "5 million money". The rest of the outside world doesn't give Paul much of a chance. But he ain't ready to die!

I imagine anyone going into this film will be like: "90 minutes in a box? How would that even begin to be interesting?" I was like that. After this film, I was like: "Where did my 90 minutes just go? And why am I hanging off the edge of my seat?" This film was more interesting and exciting than most other movies I have seen. Some may call it gimmicky, but I call this unique film making, aching to make people more claustrophobic than they would be in a crowd of people. It moves fast, and it has the right tension and narrative structure...and yet, it never, ever, not once, leaves the box. It's basically just a movie with a guy and a whole lot of phone calls. Which is funny, because the voices on the other end of the calls have just as much of a presence as a normal person in a film. The only problematic voice is that of Conroy's captor, who has a slightly comical voice that you'd expect from parodies of this topic, but hey, that's some humour added to a story not very humourous at all.

I'm not saying this is better than 127 Hours - it definitely isn't - but this film achieves a lot more than that one did. Ryan Reynolds acts entirely by himself, only aided by various phone calls. He's long been dabbling in romantic comedies, but here he shows some true acting chops. It goes without saying, he manages to anchor the entire thing. I'd like to see more dramatic Reynolds. He was extremely good in this. Rodrigo Cortés does an amazing job directing this. He manages to get every angle out of that box, which makes the whole thing even more exciting. He does use painfully saturated slow-mo once...but I got over that pretty quick. I don't know how this guy did what he did, but all I know is that I want what ever he is having for breakfast.

One of the only things that undid this amazing experience was the end. It was such an annoying ending. I don't want to go too into detail, but I guess it was made to annoy the viewer. It just felt so dead-end, though I do realize that it was actually quite a good way to finish such a film. I just didn't like it. However, it's a film like this which reminds the audience that films are always better if they've stripped right back to the basics. It's a film which builds up such suspense in such a short time, and holds it for the entire duration of the film. It's a film which I really, really enjoyed, and became really, really scared of.

THE VERDICT: A twisted suspense thriller with all the goods and more. Plus an amazing turn from Ryan Reynolds.

What I hoped for:

What I got:


  1. Nice review.
    Yet another recent release I haven't seen, this one looks pretty original though, I will probably check it out...

  2. Good movie. Definitely, not better than 127, but still, it surprised me a lot. I also didn't like the ending, although I agree that it was the best one for this flick.

  3. Nice mirrors my own thoughts on the movie, for the most part. I am a little creeped out by this premise being your dream, but different strokes for different folks.


You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.


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