Friday, October 08, 2010


Written by Chris Sparling
Directed by Rodrigo Cortes
Starring Ryan Reynolds

I suspect claustrophobia likely affects more people than actually realize it. Feeling trapped without any real means of escape, either physically or metaphorically, is certainly something we can all agree is unpleasant at the least. In extreme cases, your breath gets short and quick; you begin to feel dizzy and flush. You are likely to pass out from the sheer intensity of it all. If you have yet to go through a claustrophobic episode, fear not. Director Rodrigo Cortes has made a movie just for you.

BURIED is ninety-five, uninterrupted minutes stuck in a cramped wooden box somewhere under the ground in Iraq, with only a Zippo lighter and cell phone for light, communication and a potential salvation. Now, if you’ve got to be buried alive, you couldn’t ask for better company than Ryan Reynolds. Naturally, nobody wants to see an actor as likable and handsome as Reynolds perish like this, so the urgency is elevated just by his being cast. He can’t get by on looks and charisma alone though. The premise itself demands that Reynolds push himself as an actor in a way that I don’t think he has ever had to in his entire career. Fortunately, Reynolds gets the fear, the desperation and the hope just right to keep us trapped in that box with him the whole time. For his sake, I hope Reynolds isn’t actually claustrophobic. If he wasn’t beforehand, I suspect he might be now.

In case you’re wondering how he got in the box to begin with, allow me to clarify some. Reynolds plays a contract truck driver in Iraq mistaken for a soldier and kidnapped for ransom. He spends most of his time in the box calling anyone who might be able to get him out and pleading with his captors. The somewhat damning undertone about America and the Iraq war could have been buried a little deeper within the subtext but Cortes pulls off a pretty impressive feat with this hard sell. Ninety-five minutes in a box with Ryan Reynolds? I wouldn’t say no.


Andrei said...

Really looking forward to this one. There's just something about films taking place or being limited to mostly one location that seems to be very intriguing to me. You would think that a movie like that would lack the flexibility, but it just makes it all the more interesting. Plus, I'm really digging Ryan Reynolds' performances these days.

Black Sheep said...

Yes, confinement is tricky on film but restrictions sometimes force filmmakers to really get creative. You should check out THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ALICE CREED and 127 HOURS when you get the chance. I reviewed them both on the site if you're curious about them.



Andrei said...

I'm really interesting in how "127 Hours" is gonna turn out and how Danny Boyle will handle that type of movie. Unfortunately, it'll take some time before I'll get to see that flick, especially since I don't think it's coming to theaters around my parts of the world.

As for "The Disappearance of Alice Creed", I gotta say that I never heard of it, though it looks really fascinating. Gonna check it out asap.

daphne said...

If you are trapped in a cinema with this movie, here is a safety briefing. Eat lots of popcorn to distract you, pray for it to end, and love the novel instead. Ameen.du