Alright guys this isn't funny anymore. Guys?
I often think high-concept movies like this are always better if you don't see them. That way you can go 'what an entire movie about some guy buried alive? That sounds sick..' and there you will be, a untouched film of perfect sickness in your head, without the need to deal with the logistics of, you know, how its possible to maintain that for 90 minutes or, you know, how its not. Because Buried has its strong moments, mostly revolving around Ryan Reynolds performance, and its weaker ones, mostly revolving around a director over-compensating for the lack of movement and space, with zooms, pan outs and other visual tricks that entirely miss the point of the film. I thought a movie set entirely in a box would be entirely about the lack of movement and space. Huh?
But I think, just about, there was more about this movie that I liked then disliked, although the race goes right to the wire. Reynolds is the biggest success story, a rare step out of his duplicitous movie career of romantic comedies and popcorn action movies (plus Adventureland) to really act, and in a movie that entirely depends on his ability to hold the screen, because what else are we going to look at, he comes out on top, earning our sympathy thoroughly and creating a strong enough character to pull us through the movie's slightly shakier moments. The film sustains itself through as a series of phone conversations, and while it can't be said that all of the voice acting was top drawer, Reynolds side of the conversation is always engaging. I did enjoy Stephen Tobolowsky as a particularly heartless insurance man though. But I think the main problem is director Rodrigo Cortes doesn't believe in his premise enough to really let it be, and there's a sequence with a snake that just feels entirely pointless to the point of the now notorious incident of when Kim was threatened by a cougar in season 2 of 24. And there's the ending. I won't spoil it, but if there's a single person who comes out satisfied by that and not wanting to punch someone or something in the face then, well you are a more tolerant man then me.
As a movie experiment it probably fails, but as a showcase for Reynolds, I think just before he explodes into movie stardom stratosphere, it justifies itself. Boy can act after all.