Cube (1997) – Vincenzo Natali. Starring Maurice Dean Wint, David Hewlett, Nicole de Boer, and Andrew Miller.
A few years ago, I watched “Cube 2: Hypercube”. I was amazed by the sheer level of schlock. I had heard of the Cube, but never actually watched the original. I assumed that the first entry in the series had to be at least half-way decent enough to garner a sequel and, as is so often the case, the followup film suffered from shitty-sequel disease. The acting excruciatingly subpar, the story was ridiculous, and the characters were so paper thin they were practically transparent. But surely, that first movie had to at least have been marginally better.
15 Minutes into Cube, I’m left wondering why this movie wasn’t called The Eye. Quentin, played by Maurice Dean Wint, is constantly mugging for the camera; always wide-eyed, always gruff. He comes across as a complete psychopath – but for the completely wrong reasons. No human who has ever lived talks like Quentin. The emphasis, the bulge-out-of-your-skull eyes, all of it. The primary protagonist (spoiler: or is he?) just looks like a hate-able ass mere moments after his introduction.
The remainder of the cast is painfully cliche – The nerdy teenage student, the conspiracy theorist, the con, the apathetic one, and the kid with aspergers. This motley crew must work together in order to escape from inside what is essentially a giant Rubik’s cube. Of course each room is laden with traps (or not – nice and random that bit), though the actual death by trap count is surprisingly low.
At 90 painful minutes, this film movies at just slightly above a slugs pace. Do yourself a favor, watch any of the Saw movies – they do the whole trap thing better while actually supplying a story that at least passes for interesting.
Story – 1/5
Effects – 2/5
Scare Factor – 1/5
Bug Eyes – 2
Overall – 1/5