Buried

Film, Thrillers
3 out of 5 stars
GOING UNDERGROUND Reynolds speaks from the grave.
GOING UNDERGROUND Reynolds speaks from the grave.

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars
The urge for up-and-coming Hollywood pretty boys to prove their dramatic chops has led to bizarre career U-turns for everyone from Jerry Lewis to Ashton Kutcher, and now it’s the turn of newly minted A-lister Ryan Reynolds, who filled in time between flirting with Sandra Bullock in ‘The Proposal’ and slipping on the emerald tights for forthcoming superhero epic ‘Green Lantern’ by making an entire movie in a seven-by-three-foot box.

Reynolds plays Paul Conroy, a US contractor ambushed in Iraq who wakes to find himself six feet underground with only a cellphone and a Zippo. It’s an intriguing set-up, and the early scenes are superbly clammy as Paul deals first with his gruff Iraqi kidnappers and then with the infuriatingly sceptical US authorities, all the while keeping an eye on his dwindling air supply.

But writer-director Rodrigo Cortés struggles to maintain the tension, and his desire to appeal to the multiplex crowd leads to some bizarre, incongruous episodes: the sudden appearance of a snake is more laughable than terrifying, while Paul’s teary, Oscar-bait farewell to his geriatric mum feels heavy handed. If Cortés had dialled back the narrative intrigue and audience manipulation in favour of a more grimly realistic approach, ‘Buried’ could have been a bona fide, claustrophobic classic. As it is, this is a solid, unsettling, at times very entertaining thriller – but the jury’s still out on Reynolds.

Posted:

Details

Release details

Rated:
15
Release date:
Friday October 1 2010
Duration:
95 mins

Cast and crew

Director:
Rodrigo Cortés
Screenwriter:
Chris Sparling
Cast:
José Luis García Pérez
Stephen Tobolowsky
Ryan Reynolds
Samantha Mathis
Robert Paterson