Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Ryan Reynolds, and the voices of Samantha Mathis, Erik Palladino, José Luis García Pérez, Robert Paterson, Stephen Tobolowsky
Directed by Rodrigo Cortés
Distributed by Lionsgate Home Entertainment
When Buried was first announced, we were elated, if only to see Ryan Reynolds get buried alive (that’s for Blade: Trinity, you bastard!). Then buzz started amassing that was overwhelmingly positive, and we must admit our curiosity was more than piqued. By the time the film made it to theatres here in the U.S., fans were apprehensive. Is it as claustrophobic as we had heard? Would it be too much for them to handle? Before we get to that, though, let’s do a quick plot rundown.
Paul Conroy (Reynolds) has awoken to find himself in quite the pickle. Apparently when his convoy was attacked by Iraqi insurgents, he was knocked out and then buried alive by the terrorists as a means to try and coax ransom money from the U.S. government for his hard-to-find location and safe return home. All Paul has with him are a cell phone, a lighter, and ninety minutes to try and save his own life.
The whole film is carried upon the totally capable shoulders of Reynolds, who really gives an incredible performance. Yes, the movie is extremely claustrophobic, but there’s just one problem that kept snapping me out of the action … the script. Let’s just say that when Conroy is able to complete a phone call, the conversations that he has, and whom he chooses to call, are extremely questionable given how little time he has. Couple that with the fact that the storyline in and of itself is pretty implausible. For one thing there’s no way a modern cell phone wouldn’t have a GPS tracker, and emergency services have plenty of ways of pinpointing your location. I could be wrong about this, but unless he was saddled with a phone that was over ten years old or he was surrounded by people trying to help him with little to no cellular knowledge, his locale should have been a snap to find.
That’s not to say that the movie isn’t good, however. In fact, it can be at times one hell of a ride. If only the steadily rising tension wasn’t broken up by the script’s shortcomings.
Speaking of shortcomings, the special features in this package aren’t exactly anything to write home about. The Blu-ray/DVD combo comes with your standard making-of look at the film and trailers. That’s it. Nothing else. Nope. Not kidding. In terms of differences in picture and sound quality between Blu-ray and DVD, given the dark setting of the film, it’s really hard to say that there’s a big difference between the two. Given that you cannot buy one without the other, though, it doesn’t much matter.
Buried is an effective thriller that can wreak havoc upon your senses. The prospect of being buried alive is truly scary stuff, and this flick will expose you to a lot of the horrors and sufferings of such an occurrence. Will you watch it more than once? Can’t exactly imagine that you’d want to. It’s a definite worthy rental and maybe even a possible buy.
3 1/2 out of 5
2 out of 5
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