Ryan Reynolds has played a wisecracking college legend (Van Wilder), a wisecracking vampire hunter (Blade: Trinity), and a wisecracking mutant swordsman (X-Men Origins: Wolverine). It’s a testament to his smarmy charm that he has managed to carve out such a reliable, likable niche. If you’ve grown tired of the shtick, then Buried (which was just snatched up at Sundance by Lionsgate for about $3.2 million) is not the movie for you.
Directed by Rodrigo Cortes, Buried spends 94 minutes alone with Reynolds, who plays a kidnapped contractor in Iraq trapped in a sweaty, oxygen-depleted coffin. Accompanied only by a dying cell phone and a snake slithering at his feet, the camera remains trained on Reynolds as he frantically makes calls, trying to raise the 5 million dollars needed for his ransom.
In the minimal, claustrophobic trailer, we see Reynolds showcasing compelling dramatic chops. This kind of storytelling is risky, especially for a thriller, but the viewer feels the desperation, fear, and anger of a man in this impossible situation. We think it works — at least in this 49-second teaser. How about you?