SYNOPSIS: Paul Conroy is not ready to die.
But when he wakes up six feet underground with no idea of who put him there or why, life for the truck driver and family man instantly becomes a hellish struggle for survival. Buried with only a cell phone and a lighter, his contact with the outside world and ability to piece together clues that could help him discover his location are maddeningly limited. Poor reception, a rapidly draining battery, and a dwindling oxygen supply become his worst enemies in a tightly confined race against time, fighting panic, despair and delirium, Paul has only ninety minutes to be rescued before his worst nightmare comes true.
REVIEW: The biggest question about this movie going in was, what was it going to be like? We’ve got the general premise but we know little about the details of its presentation. Well, first off let’s say that this movie is powerful and it will take you through a broad range of emotions, mostly negative ones. As you’d expect, there is plenty and I do mean plenty of desperation and confusion but not just for the character, for the viewer as well. This film presents a truly horrific, surreal experience of unimaginable torture that is not for the faint of heart. The helplessness of the situation will depress you. In a way, it reminded me of the movie Cast Away but in a box. Imagine that! Or you could look at it this way, if you remember the scene where Beatrix is also buried alive in Kill Bill 2, that was Sesame Street compared to this. Needless to say, if you consider yourself to be claustrophobic at any level, you are better off not watching this movie because it will test you severely.
Ryan Reynolds has come a long way from his masterful work in his stint in Van Wilder. I’m not saying that this will get him an Oscar nomination, but if it doesn’t, he was pretty darn close. He does an amazing job with this role, the story, and the uber compressed filming location. And he very literally is the star of this show, the only visible star. That would add a lot more pressure to any performer and he handled it smoothly. It is the best aspect of this film. Heck, I even laughed out loud a couple of times in the midst of this deflating dreariness thanks to Ryan being Ryan with his wit and sharp line delivery. However, there are some aspects that just plain turned me off. Without going into too much detail as to not give too much away, I can best summarize what I mean but the following statement. But first, as a reminder, one of my characteristic disclaimers is that I consider myself more of an average movie goer who happens to write reviews as opposed to a typical film critic. So the statement is, simply put, average movie goers will be turned off by this film. This movie is a cinematic work of art that is critically acclaimed so if you can appreciate movies for their artistic value, chances are you will like this movie. If you are more of a mainstream, pop movie viewer, you might not enjoy it. I mean you really have to be in the right frame of mind to watch this. The story is impressive but its presentation is narrow. Even so, the movie is definitely not boring which is quite a feat considering the limited filming set. That is thanks to a fantastic job with cinematography among other things. You practically feel like you are in the box with him. It is also thanks to a poignant direction by Rodrigo Cortes who not only takes on this challenging project head on but manages to present a political critique as well.
By Cine Marcos
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