Day #178: Buried (2010)

Buried (2010) (Rated R)

Buried (2010) (Rated R)

Synopsis:

[From IMDb:] Paul is a U.S. truck driver working in Iraq. After an attack by a group of Iraqis he wakes to find he is buried alive inside a coffin. With only a lighter and a cell phone it’s a race against time to escape this claustrophobic death trap.

My take:

Before I first saw Buried, if you’d asked me if I liked Ryan Reynolds as an actor, I would’ve said ‘sure, I think he’s funny!’ And, if you’d asked me if I thought he could carry a suspense/thriller movie that’s essentially a long montage of close-ups of him in a box, I would have uhmed, ahhed, and ultimately answered with a guilty yet still pretty solid ‘no.’

Thankfully, I would have been wrong; and Buried is the proof of that.

Of course, for Buried to work you have to accept a couple of things: that reception is fucking amazing in Iraq; that the mobile phone left with him has an amazing battery; and that the hostage takers knew that Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds) would need a pen and pencil in order to try and get their money, and that’s why they left these things on him. If you can get past those things (I can’t always get reception in my own room and my phone battery is crap, but I was able to make the stretch), you’re golden.

Although I don’t think that the claustrophobia of the movie quite translates to the small screen, the use of close, tight shots, and constantly shifting angles still manages to ratchet up the tension. But all of these things are just highlights for the performance of Reynolds, who even manages to throw some of his usual sarcastic wit into this diversely emotional performance.

On top of all of that, this is also one of those seemingly rare occasions where I even think they ended the movie the right way. More than any other part of the movie, it drags you in and holds you, forcing you to be emotionally invested in the outcome, and – well, you’ll have to watch it to find out what that is.

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