Wednesday, April 06, 2011

"The Box" is an ok movie for one that I didn't quite get

What would you do if a stranger showed up at your door and offered you an option: Press a a button and someone you didn't know would die and you would make one million dollars in cash.  Or else you can choose not to and the button would be passed on to someone else.  This is the question brought forth at the beginning of this dizzying "thriller" from writter/director Richard Kelly.  If you have seen "Donnie Darko" you will have some idea about what kind of head trip you are in for if you sit down to watch this one.  I just left feeling a bit underwhelmed.  And confused.

Due to the complicated nature of the movie, there may be spoilers below.  It may not give anything away, but I don't want to ruin it for you if you intend to see it!!  Therefore, let me give you my raiting upfront and you can read on if you want an explanation :)

6 out of 10 stars

James Marsden and Cameron Diaz play the married couple who gets the offer from a horribly scared individual.  Because Diaz has a disfigured foot, she feels sorry for the man insterad of scared by him.  This is just one of the many convenient ways the film makers get around having to explain why weird shit is happening.  It was far easier to make up an excuse for something instead of actually explain it.  But I am off subject.  The rest of this movie then dives and twists in and out of the ramifications of pushing said button, possible alien invasion, and a government that might be aware of the whole thing.  This has so many odd twists that you begin to not really care for the main characters anymore.  You just want to get to the end to figure out what the hell is going on.  Unfortunately once you get there, many of the questions you had are never answered.  It turns into a straight up morality piece.  All the other weird mumbo-jumbo just turns out to be a red herring.  Who is the man with the burned face?  You never find out.  It could be a few things, but I guess it really didn't matter.  Although knowing that may have made this a better film for me.  I'm not saying a film has to spell everything out for me, but if most of the movie is asking questions about what is going on you should at least ry and answer some of those questions.  Maybe I'm way off base?

Marsden and Diaz do a great job trying not be wooden, which is something that seems to happen in Kelly's movies.  Marsden does amuch better job than Diaz.  She often seems lost in her world or just confused about everything.  Albiet so was I for the most part, but she took it to an extreme.  Marsden on the other hand takes his signature happy go lucky and adds in a touch of sadness.  You get the impression from HIM that this marraige may have been somewhat rocky but no one is willing to admit it.  I really liked him in this film.  He is quickly becoming an actor I like to watch.

The movie is visually interesting right from the start.  Is it worth watching?  I would say yes, but with a touch of hesatation.  It has some really great moments, but it seemed like a lot of pomp and circumstance for little payoff.


Keith T. said...

Saw this when they rebooted Twilight Zone in the 80's. "If you push the button, you get a million dollars and someone will die..." "1985 Twilight zone reboot, Button button"

Nate said...

It was indeed based off that episode! I guess it was also based off of a short story by the same name.