"Nobody's gonna pay $5 million dollars for me."Often times when you hear an actor is the sole performance in a movie, you get worried. Will he/she be engaging enough to perform such a task? Will you get bored of the inevitable monologue that out of sheer desperation turns into a dialogue, with the actor talking to himself the whole time? In Buried, Ryan Reynolds's gripping portrayal of a U.S. contractor buried alive by Iraqi terrorists will leave you neither restless nor wishing you'd seen another movie. On the contrary, you will be so caught up in the movie that its surprisingly abrupt ending will leave you with your mouth agape.
While on assignment in Iraq, truck driver Paul Conroy's (Reynolds) truck is held hostage by terrorists who killed the other passengers and threw Paul in a coffin and buried him underground for $5 million ransom. Waking up groggy and disoriented, Paul instantly goes into panic mode searching for light, breathing space, and an escape. With only a random cell phone and a lighter as his companions, he uses up most of his cell battery calling for help from the U.S. government, family, and anyone else who would pick up the phone. Unfortunately, that didn't leave many people. And those on the other end of the line were none too helpful to assist in Paul's escape. Met with people asking him such suspiciously needless questions like what his social security number was, Paul becomes desperate, annoyed, and paranoid. He begins to feel that his duties as a contractor for the government have gone unnoticed and that he's being set up. Meanwhile the first drops of sand have begun to seep through the box and his cell begins to beep "battery low."
Unlike 127 Hours, the storyline here was far more sophisticated and thought-provoking. Better pacing, mixed with a touch of politics, and an overwhelming sense of claustrophobia and a race against time make Buried more engaging albeit the stronger performance is by Franco (though Reynolds is no slouch here; he nails the performance). It will be interesting to see Reynolds leave the lame romantic comedies alone for a while and seek more roles like this one. Buried doesn't try to be inspirational or campy, but effortlessly follows one man's unimaginable predicament turn into an even greater nightmare. With Buried, you can't look away, even when you too begin to feel closed in after a while.