BURIED Review


How do you create all the scares? the tension? The drama of a full length feature and contain them to one location with one actor? I wasn't sure it could be done. And though I had heard very little about "Buried" besides its frustrating trailer that gave little to nothing away, I was intrigued and somewhat doubtful when I read the entire 90-minute film took place within the box. It does indeed though and it is consistently building that tension and somehow managing to create new and more circumstances for our main protagonist to deal with and push through. It is of a certain accomplishment this works as well as it does. To have pulled this off requires all the elements to come together in the most natural of ways and the majority of the time things ring true. It is believable, it never comes off contrived which is the biggest challenge you face on a film like this, and director Rodrigo Cortes and writer Chris Sparling deserve serious credit for building such a great thriller with such little resources.

And though the direction is interesting and the story holds itself up fine (though I do wish it would have been something different than a corporate corruption message) this would have never come off as credible nor as overall impressive if it weren't for the performance Ryan Reynolds gives. It is a showy role, if only by the situation itself. It is clear this was Reynolds looking for an opportunity to stretch his somewhat limited persona. His smart-assed demeanor only creeps in once and at just the right time. He is genuine, we understand every frustration he has. Early on he has to get over the fact that he is trapped and there isn't much he himself can do about it, he simply yells and moves around as much as his coffin will allow him too and from that point on we are stuck right there with him. Finding it hard to breathe, looking for ways we might escape. It is truly a nail-bighter down to the last moment and most of that isn't due to camera angles, music or any other element. This movies rock to stand upon is this one titular performance by Reynolds, and it is needless to say he nails it. If one has any pre-conceived notions of him or what they think his Paul Conroy character is here, drop them all at the door and immerse yourself underground with him. You won't be more thankful you are actually sitting in a comfortable chair when the credits begin to roll.

While I enjoyed this film immensely, there is only one thing keeping me from fully endorsing this film and that is my disappointment in the slowly revealed plot as to why Mr. Conroy is there in the first place. There are a few moments that may evoke questioning the logic, but what I am more upset about are the reasons he was put there eventually take a back seat to a bigger scam that makes his survival seem like less of a focus to the film. I am sure this happens all too often and the lengths people and companies go to to cover their own asses is sickening and quite frankly disturbing, but in the end that wasn't good enough to justify watching this man squirm and struggle to stay alive as long as he could. That he was kidnapped, taken for ransom and trying to bargain with his captors was an interesting way to begin, but in the end that story line hardly matters, it is the one where the people on the other end of the phone ask him irrelevant questions, wasting time when they could be tracking his signal and finding him. That their priorities are someplace else and not on saving a fellow man seems to show what a cynical world we do live in, but it just wasn't enough. It needed something more, a better underlying theme. I have no suggestions, but with everything that was great about this film I wish the backbone of the story could have made the film stand a bit taller.