I watched the entire Cube trilogy in one night — boy was it a long’un.
“Three ninety minute films?”, some of you might think, “I’ve seen single films longer than that!” Yes indeed, this is true, and I’ve watched all of the extended Lord of the Rings in one day — but those are good, and the Cube sequels just aren’t.
Anyway, I’ve posted all three reviews at once — partly because things are lagging review-wise here and I want to get a wriggle on (17 days ’til 2009!) — and so here is a little summary of the trilogy, with a brief note on my thoughts on it as a whole at the end.
This is probably obvious, but in case not: click on each film’s title for the full review.
1997 | Vincenzo Natali | 87 mins | DVD | 15 / R
“Cube manages to effectively juggle gruesome horror deaths, sci-fi mysteries, an awful lot of maths, and character-based drama. It’s a brilliant, low-budget, understated film [that] everyone interested in the more intelligent end of the sci-fi spectrum should see.”
2002 | Andrzej Sekula | 90 mins | DVD | 15 / R
“The new cube set is bigger, shinier, simpler, emptier, always one plain colour, and devoid of traps. Consequently, but perhaps inadvertently, it seems to symbolise the film itself… Hypercube feels like expensive tosh based on a faux-intellectual idea.”
2004 | Ernie Barbarash | 93 mins | DVD | 15 / R
“an entirely different setup: the people who observe the cube!… until one of them goes inside, and then we’re right back in familiar territory… Derivative and, worst of all, quite irritating.”
I first saw Cube many years ago, certainly before it had any sequels, and have always thought it excellent. I picked up the trilogy DVD set a few years back, despite hearing advice that went, roughly, “never ever watch the sequels. Ever.” My God was that good advice.
The first remains a masterpiece, provided you can ignore the two sequels and their weak additions to the mythos. Try to integrate all three into the same fictional universe and you’re just going to wreck much of what’s great about the original. Watch that, love that, and pretend that was all there ever was.