02  JUN
Don't look for a reason... look for a way out

Directed by  Vincenzo Natali
Written by  Andre Bijelic, Graeme Manson, Vincenzo Natali
Starring:  Nicole de Boer (Leaven)
Nicky Guadagni (Holloway)
David Hewlett (Worth)
Andrew Miller (Kazan)
Julian Richings (Alderson)
Wayne Robson (Rennes)
Maurice Dean Wint (Quentin)
Runtime: 90 minutes

I like mysterious movies that don't pretend to give an explanation of everything but that leave something to the imagination of the viewers. Cube is one of these movies, it never gives any explanation of the events shown and the characters only propose their own thoughts and guesses about what's going on without giving any certainty or 'truth'. Unfortunately, this 'extreme' approach would need an intelligent direction, a very good cast and a perfect script in order to make the movie successful but in the case of Cube, most of these points are completely missing.

The strange plot is about a group of people that find themselves trapped in a sort of three-dimensional labyrinth made of cubic rooms linked together by doors located in the center of each wall. They don't know how or why they entered that strange place and they just want to get out of it as soon as possible. However, some of the rooms concealed deadly traps and there are no obvious clues about the direction to follow in order to find an exit... if there is an exit...

The most obvious characteristic of Cube is the set design. The whole movie is filmed inside a number of identical cubic rooms or, actually, inside one single cubic room whose color was changed to pretend there were many different ones. I'm not trying to say that this idea was banal or that it was badly implemented but I wonder if this has been a completely 'free' choice or if the tight budget didn't allow the director anything else. Anyway, the low budget is not really the main problem of the movie, the limitations are only evident if you consider the confined camera movements but the claustrophobic atmosphere was really needed by the story itself.

On the other hand, the dull dialogues and the awful actors really makes the vision of this movie a rather boring and unsatisfying experience. In a movie where characters are the so important, making them chat in a such uninteresting way is definitely dooming. Not only the dialogues were ridiculous but the characters were flat and the actors appalling. After a few minutes I started hoping to see those people failing to detect a trap and being replaced by someone more capable!

No matter if the idea behind the movie is original, Cube simply missed a good chance to provide an interesting analysis of the human behaviour in a peculiar condition. Unfortunately, having weak characters also weakens the message and exposes holes in the plot so that even the curious finale didn't give much satisfaction apart from a sense of freedom...

Rating: 5.5  *

Links:  Official Site




© Copyright Sergio Monesi, 1997-2000.
Last updated: 21 Jan 2000