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A man is caught in a desperate race against time in this claustrophobic thriller from director Rodrigo Cortes. Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds) is an Ameri...

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78% positive

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Review of "Buried(DVD)"

published 02/05/2011 | Dentolux
Member since : 15/07/2010
Reviews : 425
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I will say ciao to Ciao. No point sticking around on a site that doesn't want to add new DVD or video game releases to its catalogue. I will continue to write over at www.theotakujudge.com
Pro Great one man show from Ryan Reynolds, gripping story
Cons Probably doesn't stand up to repeated viewings, some story elements are implausible
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"Buried - on the bright side down there you won't get sunburnt"

It’s been a while since I last posted a review, but don’t worry readers I am still alive. No need to arrange my funeral just yet. Speaking of premature burials that chilling scenario is exactly what Paul Conroy, the star of Buried, has to endure. When the film begins we learn that the American truck driver has been presumably buried alive by insurgents that attacked the convey he was part of. Seeking employment in a war torn land suddenly doesn’t seem like the best idea ever. Perhaps he should have stayed home and settled for something more mundane like delivering beef burger shipments to McDonalds.

What’s interesting about this movie is that it is set inside the casket for the entire ninety minute duration. All we see are Paul in a dark wooden box. At no point does that action switch to the outside world. This is great for the movie company making the film as they can get away with producing this on a shoe string budget, but can this morbid idea of a story keep the audience’s attention from start to finish? Well I am pleased to report that it does. I wasn’t bored at all as from the very beginning I was rooting for Paul and wanting to see how things would panned out.

Paul lying in a coffin doesn’t sound awfully exciting, but mercifully his captors have provided him with a mobile phone (they expect him to use it to film a hostage video asking for a ransom of five million dollars to be paid.) Aside from speaking with his captors Paul uses the phone to call his family, employers, the FBI and state department to try and arrange a rescue which isn’t easy as he hasn’t got a clue as to where he is. His location is a mystery as is how does that phone get a signal six feet underground? I struggle to get a clear line phoning someone at the office! Forget the I-phone, I want whatever brand Conroy is using!

What keeps the film going is Paul’s impending doom. He has a limited amount of oxygen in that confined space so it’s a race against time to see if he can get rescued before suffocating. In case that isn’t dramatic enough the film makers keep hiking up the ante by presenting Paul with even more things to worry about. Just when you start losing interest something happens to suck you back into the story. First he realises that the phone’s battery is running out. That’s bad as the mobile is his only means of contacting someone to get him out. Then we have a scene were the coffin breaks and starts to fill up with sand. At one point a rattle snake even manages to dig into the underground tomb. Can’t the poor guy catch a break? Also what is a rattlesnake doing in Iraq? Aren’t those only found in America?

I suspect the reptile in question is a female as Paul is played by pretty boy Ryan Reynolds who is certainly popular with the ladies. I had my doubts as to whether he could pull off such a serious role as I have previously seen him in Blade Trinity and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Both those films were mindless action flicks which he spiced up with a little comedy, nothing too demanding. To his credit Reynolds does a superb job which is just as well as the success of the film is entirely on his shoulders. No matter how good the story is written, if the actor chosen is sub-par you would lose the audience as there are no flashy effects or supporting cast on screen to cover that weakness. Reynolds is entirely believable showcasing a wide range of emotions which the stressful situation of his character demanded.

Although I liked Buried I wonder if it would have worked better as a book rather than a movie. However good Reynolds is portraying the character’s feelings, reading what exactly was going through Paul’s mind would have added to the story. A guy trapped in a box doesn’t really come across as something that would work in visual media, but the director did do a good job with what little he had to work with. Aside from the twists and turns in the story the creative use of lighting and different camera angles did help to keep my attention.

I do recommend checking out Buried although I wouldn’t advise on buying the DVD. Although you will be engrossed the first time you watch it, I cannot imagine that many viewers will want to go through the distress Conroy suffers a second time round. At the end of the day it’s one of those films that is a solid rental. I personally wouldn’t purchase the DVD as the movie just won’t have the same impact on repeated viewings. Seeing how things pan out is what sucks you in and it’s just not the same once you know the finale.

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Comments on this review

  • Deesrev published 29/09/2011
    Glad to be finally back! :~) xXx
  • Ailran published 09/08/2011
    I like Reynolds but really dont have anyinterest in watching this.
  • dawnymarie published 23/07/2011
    A superb read! x
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Product Information : Buried(DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

A man is caught in a desperate race against time in this claustrophobic thriller from director Rodrigo Cortes. Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds) is an American truck driver who has been contracted to work in Iraq, and while delivering a load of kitchen equipment as part of a humanitarian aid program, he's captured by insurgent guerrillas who intend to hold him hostage. Paul is struck unconscious, put into a coffin-like box, and buried, and when he comes to, all he has to help him get out is a lighter, a cell phone, a pen, and a jacknife. Trapped underground with a limited supply of air, Paul frantically calls his family, his employer, and American military and political representatives, trying to remain calm as his chances of survival slip farther away with each passing minute.


Listed on Ciao since: 28/01/2011