November 15, 2010

#106: The Box (4/10)

There is a mysterious box on your front door with a button. A man tells you that if you push the button you will receive a million dollars, but somebody you don't know will die. A pretty interesting premise to base a movie on. I thought there was a lot of potential. However, I didn't like the direction it took, and the ending was really disappointing to me.  It is a forgettable movie that fails to capitalize. I give it a 4 out of 10.

The Box is very stylized and at first I wasn't sure I liked it. As it went on I started to really get into it; almost like a "B" movie. It was a nice pace and did a great job at building the mystery and suspense.  Diaz was fine in the lead role for the most part, but at times I found her distracting.  As we neared the climax the pace started to pick up and the movie started to fall apart. I could have loved this movie if it had an awesome ending, but it did not.

I guess it's time for some spoilers.  It turns out the box is a test being conducted by aliens to determine if the human race is worth keeping alive.  Again, this is an interesting premise with horrible execution. How does this test prove anything and how did they decide on the arbitrary dollar amount of 1 million.  Are they varying the dollar amount to figure out where the breaking point is.  I'm gonna need to know what the decision variables were and what they used for controls.

I also found it odd that they made it a point to say that the woman is the one that pushed the button in all three cases they showed. Is this some sci-fi parallel to the garden of Eden? Is the mind-controlling alien race supposed to be an allusion to God and religion in general? If that is the case does any of the rest of it make sense? I wanted a better, or at least more meaningful, explanation for the box.

The one thing this film did a great job with is creating that feeling of isolation, and the weirdness associated with it. The husband feels like he is alone. Everybody else is in on something that he doesn't know about.  The set it up well, but they the completely ruined it with that horrible library sequence.  By the end everything about The Box seemed totally pointless.  It completely undermined and wiped out any impact it could have had.

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