Directed by – Richard Kelly
Written by – Richard Kelly, Richard Matheson
Starring – Cameron Diaz, James Marsden, Frank Langella, James Rebhorn, Homes Osborne, Sam Oz Stone, Gillian Jacobs, Celia Weston, Deborah Rush, Lisa K. Wyatt, Mark S. Cartier, Kevin Robertson, Michele Durrett, Ian Kahn, John Magaro, Ryan Woodle, Basil Hoffman, Sam Blumenfeld, Kevin DeCoste, Allyssa Maurice, Danny DeMiller, Michael Zegen, Rachael Hunt, Evelina Oboza, Bill Buell
I’ve been waiting to see this flick since I thought the premise was very interesting, and it still is. The problem with this one is where the movie goes after the initial idea of the box is explained. It’s based on a short story by Richard Matheson and after watching the flick I went to learn more about the story it’s taken from. I have to say that the short story sounds much more satisfying than this movie was.
I thought I was getting a mysterious thriller with The Box but what it winds up being is a giant mess of cryptic messages, confusing ideas and an ending that was far from satisfying. Why Richard Kelly strays so far from the original story is beyond me. From what I know of the story it would have made for an interesting movie, giving you plenty of time to dive into the human mind and what would drive someone to kill someone they didn’t know for the promise of a million dollars. Instead of a movie that makes you wonder what you would do in the same situation it winds up being a movie about the afterlife and aliens but it doesn’t even go into those areas very much.
This movie is trying way too hard to be everything all at once without ever trying to explore its ideas. It started off well and I was looking forward to seeing a couple struggle with a decision I would never want to make. It’s pretty obvious what they’ll do though as Marsden’s character loses his chance to be an astronaut and Diaz’s character loses her chance to teach. You know they’re going to push the button so any sort of tension that could have been built from watching them try to figure out what to do is gone. Once the button is finally pushed the movie jumps into this completely unbelievable sci-fi type territory that offers up plenty of weird ideas without having the decency to explore any of them.
The movie becomes so ridiculous that it was hard to watch. I just kept telling myself that they would eventually explain everything and I would be left thinking how cool it all was. While you do get an explanation, it’s kind of vague and delivered matter of factly, like telling someone what you had for breakfast. I also found Marsden and Diaz to be more annoying as the film moved on, both of them seemed to be overacting more and more as the story trudged towards its conclusion.
What could have been a great movie, had it not strayed so far from its original idea, becomes a boring and confusing look into nothing. I honestly can’t recommend this to anyone. There’s just not enough good points to justify seeing this one. But, I am only one man and I’m sure others will find it more interesting. And seriously, if someone wants to give me a better explanation of what’s going on in this one, I’d love to hear it.
Under the marquee – Will