Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Director: Richard Kelly
Cast: Cameron Diaz, James Marsden, Frank Langella
In My Own Words
I was proud of myself going into this movie. I was going in to watch a film without reading a single review about it. Therefore I went in with no expectations and no clue as to whether this would be a good or bad movie. Unfortunately, I found it to be the latter, which is really a shame because the preview for it looked so good! I guess that is a credit to the people who edited the preview, they made it look like it should be good and worth watching. That’s what their job is though, to advertise the movie and buy it, just like any other product. Well, it worked! I bought a ticket for something I probably didn’t need…just like good advertising does. But, I just enjoy watching movies so it really wasn’t as bad an experience as what I am making out.
Review“The Box” is about a financially struggling couple, Norma and Arthur Lewis (Cameron Diaz and James Marsden) who wake one morning to fins a mysterious box only containing a button on their front door step. Later in the day, a mysterious stranger appears to inform them that if they hit the button, they will receive a million dollars. However, if they do this, then someone, who they don’t know, will die. From this plot summary, one would assume that “The Box” is going to be a film about the moral questions in life. The movie posters for it and its preview also add to the equation the assumption that this movie is a race against time. However, this film is none of these.
Although the question of whether or not you would push the button will be asked amongst viewers after the movie, the movie focuses very little on this question. It also lacks the suspense and other elements that would qualify it as being a thriller. The movie is completely different to what people will perceive it as being before they go in and may or may not, but in most cases, won’t be a pleasant surprise. For the first half of the movie, the audience is keep enthralled by the mysterious happenings and tries to piece the puzzle together. It is in this time that there is hope of the film coming to a pleasing finish, but it is soon vanquished by a turn that just seems ridiculous. The story does just not work as it is hard to follow in parts and completely unrealistic and far-fetched.
The direction of this film leaves much to be desired, with bad choices in editing, character and script. It is a shame to see such actors as Diaz, Marsden and Langella in a film that does not do them any favours. Diaz is unlikable and painful as Norma Lewis. In a role such as hers, the audience should feel pity for her, but instead feels nothing for her. And despite the facial abnormalities of Langella, his character is not intimidating or scary, or whatever he is supposed to be. Not a good choice of role to his follow up from “Frost/Nixon”. Their was evident character development for each of the characters which made the audience understand and acknowledge were each of them had came from, yet this was not enough to create any type of connection or empathy with them.
“The Box” certainly does not live up to the hype and many people will find watching the preview of it far more exciting than watching the movie itself.