Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Short Review: The Box (Richard Kelly, 2009)

From Donnie Darko director Richard Kelly, this obscure thriller begins on the right track and creates some genuine suspense and interest for the audience. Diaz and Marsden receive a mysterious box on their doorstep one morning and are given the option by Frank Langella's disfigured ex-mental patient to push the button inside the box and receive one million dollars but end the life of someone they don't know. Following this intriguing idea, the film then turns into a complicated conspiracy, as employees of Langella begin to appear at every turn, and they ultimately have to fight to save not only their own lives, but that of their son. The film begins well, but in the second half there are a handful of sequences that don't seem to fit and makes the plot much more complicated than it needs to be. In saying this, the plot itself is pretty diabolical, not to mention the dialogue. Diaz's performance is mostly horrendous, but Frank Langella is well cast. Kelly, in the tradition of his earlier work, has divulged too far with too many ideas. What is left is an intriguing mess that will leave you discussing key points of the plot after to establish some sort of order in your understanding. I didn't completely hate it, but unlike his far superior Donnie Darko, I won't be watching The Box again.

My Rating: 2 Stars

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