Buried [2010] • USA, Spain, France

I thought I'd give this one a chance. I like Ryan Reynolds and figured anybody with the kohones to release a film which consists of 95 minutes of a man in a box, a coffin to be exact, might have something interesting to show. But alas, it didn't pan out. Nothing about the film is plausible or interesting.

Reynolds' character has been kidnapped and buried alive by ne'er-do-wells in Iraq. His backstory is revealed through a series of phone calls from within the coffin. There are no flashbacks, nothing to get viewers out of the box. We're in the box with him for the entire run time. His money and papers have been taken from him but he's got a cell phone and a Zippo lighter. He keeps the lighter lit for most of the film so that we can see him—maybe not a good idea when oxygen is in short supply but the thing that kept bugging me is that he hangs onto the lighter most of the time and it should have burnt his fingers. He looks around the coffin for a possible escape hatch but doesn't notice a bag with instructions for making a hostage video until one of his kidnappers calls him and tells him where it's located—"it's by your left foot".

Then a snake shows up. Reynolds lights a fire which causes the snake to make a hasty exit. He's been making phone calls the whole time and eventually gets a call back from the Head of Human Resources at the place which had contracted him to drive a truck in Iraq. The HR guy gives him an exit interview and has him agree that the company shall not be responsible for anything that happens to him, and will not honor his life insurance policy, because he was fired earlier that morning for being too friendly with another employee. The satire of that scene was so broad it bombed.

The film does have a tension filled sad ending which I liked. The director's kohones showed up then, but the rest of the film is ridiculous.

Director: Rodrigo Cortés
Starring: Ryan Reynolds


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