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Review: Cube (1997)

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Steve Kong

Oct 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM10/23/00
Cube (1997)
Review by Steve Kong
The Hard Boiled Movie Guide

One set, five actors, bad acting, even worse dialogue and a sadistic
director. In one sentence that is what the movie Cube is about. Saying
that the movie is innovative is only telling half the story.

Five strangers awaken to find themselves stuck in a cubic room. There are
six hatches, one on each side, and these hatches lead to other cubic
rooms. These rooms are either safe or they are booby-trapped to kill upon
entering. Like a good episode of The X-Files, Cube starts off mysteriously
and then with the original question it develops even more questions. And
like the cube that these five are stuck in where every room leads to yet
another one, every question leads to another. The audience is left to
wonder why are the characters there? What is the reason behind the
Cube? How did the characters end up in the Cube? The level of paranoia in
the movie rises quickly. But, this all unravels as the film slows to a
grind and becomes increasingly more and more boring.

The script is to blame. The film is innovative, I mean, how many films
have you seen that have been shot completely on one set? And the idea
behind the film is pretty ingenious. The script itself stinks. The
characters are wholly unbelievable and the words that come out of their
mouths are amateurish. To add to insult, the actors themselves are not up
to par either. Maurice Dean Wint is terrible on screen, absolutely
terrible. Wint plays a cop who takes lead of the group. Nicky Guadagni is
just as bad as a "bleeding heart" liberal doctor. The others are OK, the
best being David Hewlett as Worth, the man with a secret, but even these
actors have nothing good to work with.

The director Vincenzo Natali has a great eye for detail, he is quite
creative, and his visual style is wonderful. He sure can make the film
look good, what he can't do is wrangle good performances. And his
creativity goes a bit overboard with some of the booby traps that are
downright sadistic. Some made me cringe hard. Natali does a decent job of
shooting the film and knows how to build tension within scenes. Once he
learns how to coerce good performances from his actors I think he'll be a
decent director.

Should you rent Cube? Only if there's nothing else to rent. The movie is
OK, but I really don't think it is worth watching if there is something
else that you can spend 90 minutes with. Sure, the film is beautiful and
innovative, but this all doesn't mean anything if there are no real
characters to bring you into the film.

Steve Kong

not all film critics are the same.
i'm your hard boiled movie guide.

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