Thursday, October 13, 2011



Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds) is an American truck driver working in Iraq. Their convoy gets ambushed by insurgents, he blacks out, and the next thing he knows he wakes up in a wooden crate buried how many feet underground. In there he finds some useful stuff like a lighter and a mobile phone that actually works. It is a race against time as the people he asks for help try to locate him. Will they be able to find him in time before he runs out of air?

The producer of this film must be very happy for cutting costs in terms of location. The entire movie is shot in that crate. Reynolds is the only visible actor onscreen for almost two hours. The rest are just voices coming from actors that hardly have any name recall, except maybe for Kali Rocha if you were a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I wouldn’t know how much money they needed to produce this film but I am betting that it wasn’t that much.

Reynolds’ performance is worthy of praise. It is just him inside that “coffin” and he demonstrates his rage and frustration very well in such a limited amount of space. The dialogue would have been reduced to “Aaaarghh! Aaaaah, Eeeeehhh! Oooooh” if it were not for the presence of the mobile phone. At least there are dialogues and other voices heard onscreen and the actor is able to further make his emotions felt through his lines.

Would I recommend this to claustrophobics? Well, maybe. To tell you the truth I find the wooden “coffin” too spacious. It is more of a crate than a coffin. If it were a real coffin then Reynolds wouldn’t have had to do much aside from lie in there and cry or perhaps curse the world. In his wooden crate he is able to move and even switch sides, lie on his belly, and lie sideways, albeit with much difficulty. The point is, you wouldn’t be able to do all those in a typical coffin.

What more gimmicks are there? The mobile phone has already been mentioned, and it has good signal too, which disappears at times. Because of this he is able to talk to some people, most of whom are unsympathetic or just would not believe him, because honestly, if you were buried underground the last thing I would expect from you would be a phone call. On the other hand, if you put yourself in his shoes you would easily get where his frustrations are coming from. Come on, if someone buries you alive would you really be happy?

What does this film tell you, then? Tips! You just would not know when someone might hit you on the head and end up in a coffin a few feet underground! Tip number one: make sure your mobile phone is charged, or better yet always keep an extra battery with you. You’ll never know how good the signal would be down there, but at least you would be ready, just in case! Hide it somewhere the goon won’t be able to see, like in your underwear, perhaps. Tip number two: bring a trusty lighter, or not. You are better off with a flashlight. You don’t really want to accidentally cremate yourself. You are already buried, remember? Unless you hate your life that much. Tip number three: Familiarize yourself with your phone's language settings! You don’t want that to add to your problems when you are buried and you need to find some quick information! Tip number four: Be a good contortionist. Flexibility is key to your survival in such a cramped space. You might want to change sides for a better view... of the coffin.

Nah, I am just messing with you. While this would most likely not happen to you, we should not discount the possibility that it might! If so, you are one unlucky bastard. Poor you. No, this will never happen to me. I have a Philippine Passport, and we are banned from entering Iraq.

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