22 September 2010


Directed by: Rodrigo Cortés
Written by: Chris Sparling
Full credits at IMDb

You needn't be particularly claustrophobic to feel unnerved by the opening of Buried, in which Ryan Reynolds wakes up in a wooden coffin buried a few feet under sand. His panicked gasps are contagious. (After all, the fear of being buried alive must be as old as the burial ritual itself.) But the initial anxiety soon morphs into the American can-do spirit, as an agitated Reynolds buckles down to figure this thing out. It goes to show that a protagonist, or an audience, can get comfortable anywhere, even in an airless box.

Unlike the similarly claustro-billed Lebanon, which is set in a tank but frequently peeks out at the surrounding landscape, Buried really is 90 minutes with Ryan Reynolds in a seven-foot crate—no prologue, no flashbacks, no periscope. (The kidnappers are kind enough, from our point of view if not Reynolds', to bury their captive with a cell phone and Zippo, so that he has something to do and something to show him doing it.) But what the movie packs in formal daring it lacks in narrative gumption; it's about one conspiracy short of a compelling script.

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