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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I watch a lot of trash -- for a variety of reasons. One of them is that I am sometimes pleasantly surprised. I was blown away with the intelligence of `Ninth Gate,' for instance. I thought `Scary Movie' was a really clever goof on its viewers.
This film pleasantly surprises. It is unremarkable in most of the normal respects: the cinematography and most acting is pedestrian. The directing and editing is poor. So where's the reward?
The conception is brilliant. The sets are Shakespearian, with no props, essentially no costumes. In fact, essentially the whole film is in ostensibly different, but identical small rooms. It is all pure drama which hinges less on what you see, instead the situation that is created by dialog. The center of this film is built in your imagination, on incomplete fragments rattling around in there -- paranoid fragments about the nature of fate, trust and a society allied against you.
What really appeals to me is how much sense this world makes. The design of the maze makes great sense; the mathematics is accessible and correct (not like `Pi' or `Omega Code'), as is the visual notion of the rooms moving. The logic of the physical space contrasts with the total ignorance about who created this situation and why. Since the cinematic vocabulary is made so clear, the angst about the outside society is made more acute.
I think the basic notion works a whole lot better than, say the second `Alien' or the first `Die Hard,' both of which are basically escape movies leavened by `Ship of Fools.'
This is a likely target for a remake with a better budget, a much better candidate than, say `The Professional.' Imagine if these folks had the money and creative talent of the disastrous `The Cell.' If this was remade, though, the extra money need not go into more elaborate sets. The sparceness of the sets is part of its strength. Instead, the money needs to go into script dialog, better actors (but deBoer isn't bad), a real score, and some competent cinematography. This would be a natural for a real artist.
As it is, it is still worth viewing. Think of it as slightly illustrated radio. Seen this way, it is worthy of a young Welles.
I have watched Cube many times, and every time it was amazing. The acting in this movie is what amazed me most, next to the plot. The characters are perfect for the roles they were assigned to. I don't think there is anybody else who could have played them better. If you watch it for the first time, you should watch it alone, in a dark room, without being interrupted. That is how the movie will have the best effect on you. This movie really makes you think for a long time afterwards. The ending of this movie would not have been better any other way. It tells you just enough to feel like a right ending, and still wonder for hours about what, who, why. This is definitevely one of those films you should see at least once in your lifetime. Just watch this movie! You will not be dissapointed.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Basically, this movie is exactly what the DVD box cover says: 6 people
are trapped inside a maze/death-trap. They try to get out.
It isn't really about the prison, though. It's about how people react to stress. And it's about the design of the prison.
The basic premise reads like a Twilight-Zone episode. 6 people wake up in a series of interconnected rooms. Some of these rooms kill their occupants in various ways.
Each person was placed there with a specific function in mind. One person is a cop, who has leadership qualities. One is a doctor, able to treat the wounded. One is a high-school student, who's math knowledge is still fresh in her mind. One is one of the people who built a component of the place, who brings unique knowledge of the prison. One is apparently autistic, able to perform complex math computations easily. One is an escape artist loner-type who gets himself killed early on to remind the audience that anyone can die.
The prison acts as a personality-conflict engine, as it forces people to interact to save each other's lives and their own.
It's a great premise, the interlocking prison that they have to figure out the secrets to. And, as with any human endeavor, dealing with each other becomes increasingly hard as dehydration and stress wear down their patience.
The problem comes when one of them, quite suddenly, snaps and starts killing them. For no apparent reason.
I understand that tensions were running high. But when the most likable and reasonable character in the entire movie starts going nuts and killing people for no apparent reason, it kinda sullies the character interactions.
Granted, this was a problem with the dialog as a whole. People thrust into the situation seemed entirely too unwilling to tell each other things. I can understand panic. But after an hour in the death maze, when someone asks what skills you could contribute, I would expect people to give a full resume/CV including personal histories, not, "I'm a doctor, like 10 million others." There was a lot of confrontation in the movie, even at the beginning when dehydration and exhaustion hadn't set in yet. They just seemed to want to argue rather than attempt to reason a way out.
Despite the ending and a degree of contravity with the dialog, the movie works reasonably well.
This is art. Plain and simple, art. This film reminds me of Memento, a very low-budge film that is better than 95% of the high-budge films out there. Why? Because it relies on the story and the quality of acting to make it great, not C.G.I. and overpaid mainstream actors. Not only is it a well presented thriller, it's also a study of the breakdown of human emotions and sanity when kept in solitude outside of one's comfort zone. The cube tests the characters' ability to function and work together in alien territory while in constant imminent danger. This is just a brilliant film made by a brilliant writer/director. This movie is a must for any lover of psychological thrillers. - Rob
I cannot understand why some people have given this such a high rating, i thought it was absolute utter rubbish. Admittedly it has a fairly original storyline for its time(1997) but thats its only redeeming feature. It looked cheap and nasty, the dialogue could literally have been written by a 10 year old and the black actor (it made such an impression that i can't remember his name) obviously got bottom marks on his drama exam as the only way he portrayed emotion was through wild staring and pursed lips. I urge you not to waste an hour and a half of your life watching this tripe. I cannot express how much i hated this film. In the same vein of clashing personalities and/or confined spaces watch Devil or Buried instead.
Why is this rated so highly by other users? It sucks with a vengeance. I have to admit at being intrigued by the trailer, because films with twists always amuse me. But after leaving the room several times due to a) acting that wouldn't look amiss in an Ikea catalogue and b) special effects that wouldn't look amiss on an episode of Ren & Stimpy, I was merely appalled by every other aspect of the film. The laughable mathematical knowledge of the "hero" was stupid, all the other characters didn't even go through the sane/insane stage, they just went mad from the off. I can't spoil the ending, but that sucks as well. Maybe I'm missing something. I'm an intelligent, erudite man who can think rationally and enjoy a film for it's thought-provoking content, but "Cube" reeked of wee.
Probably the worst film I have ever seen. I was looking for science fiction, for thrilling content, new ideas. Maybe with energizing analogies to "our" real lives and catching dialogs between the characters. Am I asking too much?! What I found was the poorest and cheapest production of plan-less communication and a plot that wouldn't even make 20 minutes in StarTrek. From minute 10 on, it does not get better. I hoped for it continuously but was disappointed by the scenery and dialogs over and over. Not one scene is credible, not one solution to a problem is comprehensive. Watching this movie is a waste of time! You can't understand the "Grand Finale" unless you are an expert in math. In case you're not: You will find yourself watching crazy individuals in a cube. Eventually, they turn into team players. Before that, several crazy individuals will get hurt. No, not funny, just bad.
I loved 'Cube' when I first saw it at the cinema but it's taken a
tumble every time I've seen it since. It's certainly worth a look but
its days on my shelf are over.
The concept - six strangers wake up in a cube made up of thousands of interlocking rooms and have to work together to find their way out - remains a great one, and the movie is a classic example of how to make a low budget work for you: the design is terrific, and director Vincenzo Natali and production designer Jasna Stefanovic are able to convey a massive structure with a limited set and different lighting gels in the wall panels.
That said, the dialogue and performances are brutal at times and that's largely what weakens the film for me these days. The film relies on the strength of its characters and their interaction with each other to draw us into the plot, and no one here is really up to the challenge. Also, there are too many weird, distracting details like the plastic button that can scratch metal.
It's certainly not a bad film by any means, but its flaws are too glaring for it to fully succeed. It is a lot better than the two pointless sequels that followed, however.
"Cube" had one of the greatest ideas for a movie I've ever seen. Right up
there with "The Matrix". But it was ruined!
Don't read this if you haven't seen it.
I loved the idea of people being trapped in this maze and not knowing why or how, superb idea. Of course I don't know how one would react in such a situation, but why would this cop, a man who does good, go crazy and start killing and beating people for no apparent reason? Kind of stupid if you ask me.
Also...as one of the other comments mentioned...how would this so-called cop get to the end of the maze on his own? There is no way he could get anywhere without the girl genius or the autistic guy. ...Ok, so let's assume that he does get to the end of the maze...why didn't Leavin and Worth hear the door opening when the "cop" came into the room?
This movie went from a great sci-fi, mind-job movie to a retarded horror pointless story.
Here's a question for the Director/Writer...Why on earth did you have these characters go through hell just to die at the brink of escaping? What a let down!!!
That's my two cents. Thanks.
Quentin wakes up in a square room with exits on each wall. Soon he is
joined by other people, strangers, who also have no idea where they
are. Looking around they find that each room leads to another one that
looks just the same. One of the group is the famous prison escape
artist Rennes, who realises that some of the rooms are booby-trapped
but that he thinks he has got the solution. With no other ideas the
group follow him and try to evade the traps and stay alive all the
time with absolutely no idea of why they are here or who has imprisoned
I heard about this film years ago but only recently managed to find it on television to watch. It is hard to think that it is almost a decade old now but that it is still effective and a regular cult movie that people will still talk about. Its power is in its simplicity every room is the same and every next room could be safe or could be a trap; there is no reason for any of it and there appears to be no way out. Usually this sort of stuff makes for a great pitch but not always a good movie because the idea can't stretch beyond a catchy gimmick, however here it does it and makes it look easy. The whole film is our characters trying to work their way through the rooms without getting horribly killed. This in itself is gripping and at times unbearable to watch horror fans may be disappointed that long periods go by without a lot of gore but personally I prefer tension to the delivery.
At the same time we also get the characters feeding the mystery of the cube, building the tension and the sense of hopelessness without ever really solving anything. It answers questions with more questions and keeps things moving well. The development of the characters is better than I expected and I liked the way that the film played with the characters, changing them as the film went along. It isn't a fantastic character piece but again it is just something that helps keep the film moving and I suppose it was interesting to see the nature of people come out. In that regard I was also impressed by the cast. I had expected poor performances from a low budget film but actually they were all quite good. Wint is best but towards the end his performance became a bit too simplistic. Hewlett underplays and probably has the least character to deal with but is still good. De Boer was effective and interesting. Robson was a nice distraction. Guadagni was a good counterweight for Wint and played well to develop him and herself at the same time. Miller was good and the pace of the film helped distract from him basically doing a Rain Man impression.
Overall an impressive low budget thriller that works because it sticks to the simple idea while building side issues with the characters and the cube around it but never actually solving anything. Perhaps it is better not to over praise it because I thought it was at its best because I didn't know what was going to happen.
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