Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Box

Directed by Richard Kelly.
2009. Rated PG-13, 116 minutes.
Cameron Diaz
James Marsden
Frank Langella
James Rebhorn
Holmes Osborne
Sam Oz Stone
Gillian Jacobs

Plot: A couple with some new financial concerns is given a mysterious box by an even more mysterious man. They are then told if they choose to press the button on top of the box they will receive one million dollars in cash. However, someone they don’t know will die.

The Good: The choices with which our heroes are faced are incredibly fascinating. This holds true for not only the initial decision but the final one, as well. Because of this, it’s a great conversation starter. Throw in that it’s a religious (anti-religious?) parable and it not only starts conversations but can keep them going. The movie itself moves very well and presents one startling situation after another to bring you to the edge of your seat. As our villain, of sorts, Frank Langella is sufficiently aloof and detached from the proceedings. If you haven’t seen it, that sounds bad but it’s precisely what the role calls for.

The Bad: As interesting as its beginning and ending are, there are several points in the middle that might make it easy to give up on. The problem is the way it chooses to build its metaphors and try to be creepy feel kind of hokey. The basic pattern goes like this: something happens, you roll your eyes, then something else happens to explain what you rolled your eyes at and you’re okay with it. Well, it’s going to lose lots of people during one or another of those eye-rolling moments. I can hear tons of people saying “I just couldn’t get into it.” Lastly, I could also see people thinking this movie hates women. There is certainly a case to be made. At the very least, it seems very upset with them over that whole getting us kicked out of the Garden of Eden thing that happened a while back.

The Ugly: Southern accents seem to come and go as they please.

Recommendation: I thoroughly enjoyed this but understand many will quickly dismiss it, leaving me alone on an island. I was intrigued from the start and I almost always like movies that leave you something to debate, as this one does. Go in with an open mind but if you don’t like it, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

The Opposite View: Claudia Puig, USA Today

What the Internet Says: 5.9/10 on (6/25/10), 45% on, 47/100 on

MY SCORE: 7.5/10

No comments:

Post a Comment