Buried Blu-ray review
Okay, pop quiz. You’re an American civilian contractor ambushed in Iraq and buried in a coffin. About your person you have a Zippo lighter, a pocket knife, a cell phone that’s miraculously still receiving signal underground and (slight spoiler) a reasonably large snake that you won’t notice is coiled around your leg for the best part of a goddamn hour. What do you do next?
Hands up who said complete Angry Birds? Congratulations, you’re dead. It’s a BlackBerry. It doesn’t even have Angry Birds. And so begins Paul Conroy’s nightmare. He’s played by dreamy actor Ryan Reynolds, who’s on screen, and in the box, for the entirety of Buried’s 94-minute runtime.
The first big problem with the film is that, because you never see him when he’s not in the box, you struggle to care about the life he’s left behind outside of his prison. Despite the obvious horrendousness of Conroy’s current predicament, it’s all just a bit ‘scared man is scared’.
The second problem is that it’s nonsense. Conroy spends an inordinate amount of time being put on hold by various government agencies, who seem quite keen on letting him asphyxiate and die alone rather than have to endure the ball-ache of actually going to rescue him, when a simple call to any national newspaper would get him worldwide attention. Christ, Stephen Fry would’ve had him out of there with just one #savescaredpaul tweet.
No doubt the director of Buried thinks it’s a clever allegory for the predicament of America in Iraq. It’s not. It’s faux artsy torture porn for idiots. Tense? Try boring. Boring like being trapped in a box with a man who’s stuck on hold.
And in case you think we’re over exaggerating and being too harsh, try another two moments of sheer stupid on for size. (More spoilers coming, by the way.) To deal with the whole snake situation, Conroy tries to light a fire in the coffin. Repeat: a fire in the coffin.
Then, in a bid to out-dumb itself, towards the end of the film a human resources man from Conroy’s company calls to sack him. At that point the only thing left to do is bury the Blu-ray. On the Moon.