Quickie: Buried

BuriedAwaking groggy and disorientated, Paul Conroy discovers he has been buried alive following an attack on the truck he was driving in Iraq. With little more than a lighter, a pen and a mobile phone for company, he tries to somehow engineer an escape before time runs out.

A minimalist plot description for an incredibly minimalist film. Buried’s entire 94 minute runtime is set inside the wooden coffin with the increasingly desperate Paul (Ryan Reynolds) as he tries to get out of his wooden prison, and for those who suffer from any kind of claustrophobia, Buried is likely to be a rather unpleasant experience, forcing you to live every second of Paul’s torture. It’s quite a brave decision having one single location and actor, but director Rodrigo Cortés does a decent job of keeping the tension at a high level and manages to keep it from getting too stale.

However, whilst there are some intense junctures, it does fall foul of some rather silly moments that do give you somewhat of a reality check. An incident with a snake is one that stands out as particularly jarring. A slightly stronger script could have turned this into something truly excellent, but a thinly veiled anti war, anti corporate America message ends up detracting a little from the tension.

Ryan Reynolds was apparently the first choice for the role of Paul and he repays the faith in him admirably. He gives an eclectic performance, much more varied than many of his other roles, and one that likely came from the pretty horrendous conditions he was having to work in.

Buried is intriguing and engaging with some excellent moments, but falls just short of the potential it could, and perhaps should, have fulfilled.

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8 thoughts on “Quickie: Buried

  1. vinnieh says:

    Great post, I’m going to watch this one. Just wanted to know, is it me or does the poster look like a scene from Vertigo?

  2. CMrok93 says:

    Great review Terry. Probably one of the more tense flicks of 2010 and also a great show-case of what Reynolds can do as an actor.

  3. Dave says:

    Loved this one. A perfect breakout film for both Cortes and Reynolds, both of whom (I predict) will forge interesting career paths. Buried is just a really strong genre piece, a solid way to spend 90 minutes.

    • It was definitely a good watch, I did enjoy it. Cortes certainly looks as if he has some interesting ideas, although Reynolds could well disappear into the ‘nearly made it’ category if he doesn’t make the right choices. He could do with a really meaty role sometime.

  4. I watched this one half-way, but I don’t remember why I turned it off. Time to watch it again 🙂 Nice review.

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