Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Review: Cube

Starring: Nicole de Boer, Maurice Dean Wint, David Hewlett
Directed by: Vincenzo Natali
Language: English
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

How do I begin to introduce this unique science fiction thriller? Well, it randomly appeared before me at my workplace and it looked extremely intriguing. Upon reading the back of the box, I knew I had to explore this wonder. I mean look at that cover art! Doesn't it scream "Watch me, I'm amazing!"?

Six different people, each from a very different walk of life, awaken to find themselves inside a giant cube with thousands of possible rooms. Each has a skill that becomes clear when they must band together to get out: a cop, a math whiz, a building designer, a doctor, an escape master, and a disabled man. Each plays a part in their thrilling quest to find answers as to why they've been imprisoned. [Source: IMDb]

Something I mention from time to time when it comes to a good movie is that the first 10-15 minutes are the most important. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule for those stories that have a slow build, but usually maintain some sort of underlying strong hook. Cube definitely has a strong beginning that causes you to ask lots of questions. The movie does not hold back in dropping you into this mysterious man made contraption and then immediately makes you sit back in your seat when the inevitable happens to one of its victims, then the story slows down and lets us marinate on what just happened as it introduces the cast of characters and where their surroundings. The movie offers some really great characters that may come off as one dimensional through their dominating traits, but they contribute a lot to the progression of the story. The longer they stay together and we learn more about them, the more the stakes grow and paranoia sets in. Your emotions are going to change a lot throughout this film, from panic to relief to paranoid to hopeful. It's very easy to attach yourself to certain characters and have this strong feeling to avoid the bad apples. It's somewhat obvious who to avoid, but who to cheer for is up to you in the end. Once you find your favorite(s), there's a good chance that your emotions are going to sync with theirs and you want to protect them through and through. As for the ones you're not cheering for nor disliking, you still care about them and want them to succeed as well. No matter what you feel, the way these characters are portrayed, you want to know more about them and understand their motives.

I already touched a little bit on the story in the paragraph above. If it wasn't obvious, I really enjoyed the heck out of this story. It had a very strong start that instantly got me curious and wanting an explanation for the madness with its characters. The story had really good pacing and knew when to slow down and speed up when things got tense and claustrophobic with our group of characters. There was some explanation for this mysterious experimental cube, but it didn't flat out lay the reasons behind the selection or the existence of said cube. Normally, this would be an aggravating factor, but what is withheld keeps me wanting more and kinda increases the mystery and horror of this seemingly losing battle of wits and endurance. Finding out that there was a sequel made me extremely happy and hopeful that I would learn more about the cube and its participants who are on the inside and outside of it. Sometimes a little mystery can go a long way if you do it right and Cube hits all the right notes. For that, I understand how this movie has made cult status.

It has been quite some time that I've seen this movie and I feel awful that I put off reviewing it. So, I can't go into too much detail on the negatives. Honestly, what I can recall, there wasn't much complaint while watching. There might've been some cheesy, dated dialogue and possibly some annoyance from Quentin, but other than that, I can't think of any major complaints coming to my mind immediately.

Cube was definitely a fun, science fiction thriller with a great variation of characters to keep the story interesting. I really enjoyed their relationships and conflicts and how they functioned in their unusual situation. The whole premise was something that I enjoy in movies like Saw and You're Next where people need or want to work together to get through a dire or strange situation. The story had good pacing and kept just enough information secret to keep me hooked and wanting more in the sequel.

Rating: 4.5/5

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