Buried (2010), movie review.
In Buried, Ryan Reynolds wakes up to find himself trapped underground in a coffin in Iraq. The only source of light he has is an old lighter that he has in his pocket. But that’s not going to last too long. What does he have to do to escape? Is the finished movie as good as the premise? Read on to find out…
The first minute or so of the movie (not including the opening credits) is just pitch blackness Paul Conroy, played by People magazines sexiest man alive, hasn’t woken up yet. But slowly we start to hear human noises as he wakes up. Panting and sniffling, he grunts, and then a flash of light, again, and the yellow glow of a lighter illuminates his blood and sweat covered face. We continue to watch as he feels around his new surroundings, grunting, swearing, and shifting about while he does so. After a couple minutes of this blue glow appears as a cell phone at his feet starts ringing. grabbing ahold of it he starts to call people at get in yelling contests with them.
That is what most of the movie is.
The Good and The Bad.
Paul Conroy is a hotheaded not so intelligent person. In addition I never had any sort of connection to him. He wasn’t a character that I cared all that much whether they lived or died. Most of his dialogue was yelled at faceless voices on a phone.
At times he is downright stupid. For instance, he is told to keep the phone on ring instead of vibrate so as to conserve power. But because the ringing annoys him he turns it back to vibrate.
Now I know that if I where in the same situation I would surely overreact to some degree. But think that I would be able to restrain myself if I were on the phone with somebody that might be able to help me. Not Paul Conroy though, in the movie he calls up a woman he knows and after she doesn’t immediately tell him what he wants to know he screams at her until she hangs up on him.
More than half of the dialogue in the movie is composed of either yelling, or people asking him over and over the same questions. And the rest of it is, for the most part (I can think of one or two instances where it’s not so), uninspired.
Camera angles in a coffin would seem be a tricky thing. Are in Buried they never really got it down. In fact they used the same two techniques (there is probably a better word for that but I don’t know it) as many as three times. The first is they would have Ryan Reynolds holding his lighter and move it down the wall of the coffin while the camera panned down the length of it, and then came along the opposite side just as he had switched his lighter to the other hand and was moving it along the wall. The other is when one of the other characters called on the phone he would pick up and the it would zoom in on his face with music blaring as he screamed at the other.
For a fair amount of the movie it seems as if there is a conspiracy behind him being buried, but then it is never followed through and you are left wanting more of that plot thread. If they had developed that more than I think it could have made the movie as a whole, better.
After all my gripes I don’t have one good thing to say about the movie. The colors of it are beautiful. All of his light sources shed a different color and so lend a certain beauty to the film. The green from a glow stick and the neon blue glow (among many combinations) from the phone cast eerily against Reynolds skin.
If you’re looking for a Poe-esque thriller he have other (better) options. This isn’t a movie a good recommend to anyone. But if you do find yourself watching it, whether willingly or not, you might be able to find some enjoyment from it, but most of it will be from the colors.
Visuals: A camera angles and techniques aren’t anything special (or even good), but the colors are the best part of the movie.
Acting: Prepare yourself for lots of shouting and screams. Panting is also something overdone.
Writing: Some plot hooks aren’t followed through with. The movie is also plagued with lots of boring dialogue and timefillers.
Starring: Ryan Reynolds.
Directed by: Rodrigo Cortes.
Parental Rating: R/ 17+
Overall score: 3/10