ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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Cube 2: Hypercube (2003)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Andrzej Sekula

Starring:
Geraint Wyn Davis/Simon
Kari Matchett/Kate
Matthew Ferguson/Max
Lindsey Connell/Julia
PLOT-CRUNCH
Eight strangers wake up to find themselves trapped in a futuristic looking “hypercube” with no recollection as to how they got there. They try to find their way out, get assaulted by weird shite and yes, turn on each other. NOTE TO SELF: Stay way from giant cubes...they're just no good for one’s health.
THE LOWDOWN
I enjoyed the first "Cube" flick (I will review it eventually) and was looking forward to this sequel. Predictably, it borrowed a lot from the original, but when you think about it...what more can you really do with a tale set in a damn cube!? I did respect this follow-up for at least sporting a different visual vibe than the original though (the feel is very bright as opposed to grungy) and for taking some elements a step further story-wise, instead of giving us the same damn thing all over again.

My main hook to this mindbender were its visuals. The optical goodies began at frame 1 with the uber-kool prologue and the inventive opening credits kicking all kinds of psychedelic ass. These two bits alone were worth the price of a rental. I had a freaking blast! As for the rest of the film, it basically acted as a playground for director Andrzej Sekula (who cut his teeth as a cinematographer on "American Psycho", "Hackers" and many more) to go coo-coo with the zany shots, slick angles and striking plays with all kinds of motion. I relished Sekula’s artistic, Kubrick-light touches throughout the movie with the "out there" sex scene in the film being one of the more memorable bits (loved the red dress effect). NICE!

From a narrative standpoint, the whole “Hypercube” concept definitely had me by the sack as well. The setting basically gave the film "carte blanche" to mess with our heads and toss all kinds of psychotic/surreal moments our way. Even though the purpose behind all of the mind tweaks was flimsy at best, I still had a hoot 'nanny with it all. Alternate realities and a multitude of doppelgangers are always "fun times" in my magazine and the film managed to use those devices in amusing and creative ways (loved the watch collection). I also delved head first into the mystery that came with every character as each revelation kept me on my thumbs and sucked me deeper into this mad world.

On the downside, this sequel felt the need to explain the cube's origins and even though I understood that it had to do so in order to push the storyline further, the wooing ambiguity and more “existential” feel that the original had was lost in the process. The direction taken here was "typical" sci-fi . Another boo-boo was that the gore and the scares were surprisingly low. Gone were the unpredictable booby traps found in the first, but present was a cheapo CGI-shredding cube device in their place. Lastly, the film was a bit too talky for its own good and unfortunately for my bleeding ears, the dialogue itself sucked balls to high heavens. It made the actors look pretty bad at times and the characters less endearing. The only player that kept my interest full blast was the one who eventually lost his screws. Yup, I was rooting for the psycho…again. Gotta love 'em!

In the end, "Cube 2: Hypercube" still wound up being a fulfilling watch. It could’ve been more "horror" on all levels, but I was entertained the whole way. The ending left it wide open for a sequel and the new “background info” established room for the storyline to continue through future films without being 100% redundant. I expect a Part 3 to smack us on the butt eventually and you know what...I'M THERE WITH CUBES ON!! Solve this puzzle!
GORE
Dryer than the pasties. We get a head lopped off, some stabbings, an eye stabbed out (off screen), some corpses and the highlight....a dude getting sushied into little pieces.
ACTING
NOTE: All of the actors here had to spit out some awful lines, which in turn, made them look bad.

Geraint Wyn Davis (Simon) had the meatier and more "out there" role and he ran with it. I had fun with his character. Kari Matchett (Kate) did what she had to do well. Matthew Ferguson (Max) was on and off and the same goes for Lindsey Connell (Julia).
T & A
Lindsey Connell (Julia) gives us a quick tit shot and we thank her for it. The horror females get Matthew Ferguson (Max) shirtless. Will you thank him for it?
DIRECTING
Bravo to Andrzej Sekula for capitalizing on the visual and audio possibilities that a premise like this present a director. The man’s sharp eye and ears definitely upped the film’s impact and made the experience a captivating show.
SOUNDTRACK
I tripped out with Norman Orenstein score; it had a techno “Zen” quality going on that I truly dug that. I WANT IT!
BOTTOM LINE
There are just so many stories that you can tell about people caught within a giant cube and this sequel managed to give me some fresh meat while staying faithful to its predecessor. Sure, the gore, the tension and the ambiguity were MIA, but the film’s wild nature, groovy visuals and audio experience kept me in bed. You can do much worse than spanking this bad girl. I recently heard about a planned Cube TV series, if it happens, I can’t wait to see how they’re going to wing it. Maybe it will take place in a triangle or something.
BULL'S EYE
This film was shot in Toronto, Canada.

Lions Gate releases the DVD on April 15, 2003.
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