Who would have thought that Ryan Reynolds talking on a cell phone in a wooden box could be so damn thrilling?
Reynolds’ career trajectory has been an interesting one to follow. From 2 Guys, A Girl, and A Pizza Place, to a guy, a mobile phone, and a coffin, Reynolds has gone from strength to strength, culminating in this, his best performance yet.
Buried focuses on Paul Connolly (Reynolds), an American truck driver in Iraq who -after his convoy is ambushed – finds himself in a wooden box somewhere in the desert. Armed with only a Zippo lighter and a working cell phone, Paul seeks helps before time runs out.
Directed by Spanish filmmaker Rodrigo Cortes (his debut), Buried makes great use of its gimmicky premise thanks to tight directions and Reynolds’ supreme one man show.
Cordes frames the movie with tight, constrictive shots sure to make many a claustrophobic nauseas. The dread and grit is palpable, as is the frustration and discomfort portrayed by Reynolds, who delivers quite the performance that essentially makes the film a success.
Since it’s based in Iraq, there is (of course) plenty of political commentary thrown about, yet never sticks.
Its damnation of bureaucracy, however, is much more effective, as Reynolds’ man in a box struggles under the weight of red tape, while gasping on the air of empty words from a succession of never seen operators, agents, and one super pissed terrorist.
With his performance, Reynolds has finally been able to shake the funny man persona which has always haunted his non-comedy work. Here’s to more Reynolds in serious mode.