Buried (2010) Short Review (Rated R)


When the Lion’s Gate name appeared at the beginning, I knew how this would end. Lion’s Gate thinks itself a film company that produces ‘edgy’ films, but what they really produce is pointless wastes of time and film. ‘Buried’ shows itself very early on for what it will be.
A man named Paul Convoy wakes in a coffin, initially unaware of how he got there or where he might be located (in a box). He has a phone (not his) and is able to make phone calls (he gets great reception for being buried). Ryan Reynolds is the man in the box having a very bad phone day. Anyone he calls acts irrationally, cold or stupid (sometimes all three) in order to try and frustrate the audience. The director does everything he can to stretch what little  of a threadbare script is here. The entire film has a great similarity of a ‘phone call’ track at the end of the Tool album Salival, where a call to the LA Municipal Court purchases nothing but increasing frustration. As farce this may have worked, but as a serious drama it fails in grand fashion with Reynolds’  Conroy predictably making call after call (that ends in either being cut off, on hold or in a false lead), cursing everyone, being attacked by snakes, setting his coffin on fire, giving interviews, getting fired… yes, fired from his job… while in a coffin… and is given plenty of items by the terrorists to stretch out the running time. Oh, wait. As the film purports: “They’re not terrorists, They’re people. Like you and me.” Whatever.

The director shakes his finger at America the entire film (you know the rhetoric… “We shouldn’t be there, we caused all of the trouble, we’re oblivious to the woes of others, we never knew that it would… be.. so… hard… ), but what he doesn’t do is make a good movie. He fails in making the film feel claustrophobic (remaining in the coffin the entire film with Reynolds) by showing shots of the coffin where it looks 30 feet high or having his Canadian lead crawl around in what looks like a vast mine shaft. The film though, is ultimately nothing more than a news story. A man is kidnapped by terrorists in Iraq. The man dies. Not for any purpose other than to make money (this must have cost 10 bucks to make) for a creatively retarded film company.

You can get a proper simulation of what it’s like watching this by finding your nearest concrete wall and banging your forehead against it as hard as you can, then repeating that act for 95 minutes. You’ll probably get more out of that than you’ll get from this film.

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