CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.
Film Review: Ryan Reynolds Gets Beneath it in Tense Thriller ‘Buried’
CHICAGO – In one of the most unusual settings for a film, actor Ryan Reynolds performs as a one-man tour de force as the only on-screen character in the new film “Buried.” Set in a coffin buried beneath the sands of Iraq, Reynolds conveys the panic, hope and inevitable outcome of a man buried alive and fighting for his very existence.
Reynolds portrays Paul Conroy, an American truck driver who has taken an assignment to provide transport during the Iraq war. When his convoy is ambushed, he is taken alive and kidnapped. As the film opens he awakens in complete darkness. Using the illumination of a cigarette lighter, he determines that he has been buried alive by his captors.
This is confirmed by a ringing mobile phone. The captors have buried with him some survival gear, including some portable lighting and a communications device. When Paul answers, the man on the other end of the line is telling him to demand five million dollars in ransom money from the American government or they won’t dig him out.
This begins a series of frantic phones calls, ranging from the absurd wrong numbers in the United States, to Paul’s wife and parents, to the bureaucrats outside of his potential grave who manage simply to try to calm him down. This becomes a desperate situation, as the clock ticks down on the timing for the ransom and Paul’s possible rescuers seem more distant by the minute.
Meanwhile the war rages above ground and a series of percussive hits above Paul may make for a game changer in the rescue attempts. As each phone contact becomes his only lifeline, another piece of hope becomes checked off with each new hang-up,
directed by Rodrigo Cortés. Rated “R”
Photo Credit: © Lionsgate