CUBE 2 HYPERCUBE: DVD
A group of strangers is left confused and disorientated when they awaken in a series of strange interlocking cube-shaped rooms. Traveling from room to room, they find each other and begin the difficult task of finding a way out. However, this four dimensional cube or "hypercube" that they are trapped in, defies many of the laws of time and physics thus making it virtually impossible to escape. But why have these eight people been imprisoned? And who among them holds the key to their escape?
Review by Craig Miller
Taking the high concept idea of the 1997 independent Canadian Sci/Fi hit Cube and adding another group of B-list actors to another similar series of interlocking cubes, seems to have been the fundamental drive behind the making of Cube 2: Hypercube, which plays out more like an ordinary remake of the original than a sequel, and is basically as unnecessary a film as there has ever been.
Apart from introducing the hypothetical hypercube idea - an amazingly complex theory about time, space and reality, painfully simplified throughout the film by the more palatable B-grade sci/fi philosophy of "it's a bizarre cube" - this sequel just rehashes many of the same plot points and basic story arcs as the original. It even highlights many of the same questions: How will they survive? How will they get out? But it fails to recapture the mood that made its predecessor the success that it was.
The first Cube used to great affect the feelings of being trapped and isolated, and a sense of hopelessness, and delved into various philosophies and metaphors on humanity and life itself. Hypercube doesn't worry itself with clever thought-provoking themes and philosophies, just with the idea of being somewhere you don't want to be, that is until you miraculously find a way out!
From the opening scene director Andrzej Sekula gives the audience plenty of room to breathe as he first shows off the outside of the cube and then, later in the piece, when the claustrophobic feel should be stifling us, he shows a selection of flashback-type clips detailing the prisoners' lives before they found themselves trapped. Big mistake!
Without that claustrophobic feeling or that sense of hopelessness and confinement, Hypercube soon becomes mindless entertainment that just throws up and disposes of ideas and themes as quickly as it can think of them, detailing nothing and confusing everything.
Although it looks ok, and follows the original story ideas well, Hypercube is very much the "poorer cousin" of its predecessor which, unlike this quite ordinary effort, explored ideas rather than preaching them, and added interest to a genre rather than taking away from it.
DVD wise, Hypercube is visually pretty good, having had what looks like quite a bit of time taken on it to get it just right. There are a lot of visual and special effects shots throughout, and many of them are pretty convincing (although there are certain types of shots that will never look great no matter how much time is spent on them).
The extras are a bit of a mixed bag, with an interesting commentary from writer/producer Ernie Barbarash and picture editor Mark Sanders who talk in-depth about the film and effects etc, however a lot of this information is covered on the 35 minute making-of feature, which makes it kind of redundant.
The deleted scenes package might as well have been deleted from the disc altogether as it highlights very little, except an alternate ending which is just as bad as the one used, and a few scenes that spout out a bit more Hypercube psychobabble.
Published May 13, 2004
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CUBE 2: HYPERCUBE: DVD (M)
CAST: Kari Matchett, Geraint Wyn Davies, Grace Lynn Kung, Matthew Ferguson, Neil Crone, Barbara Gordon, Lindsey Connell
DIRECTOR: Andrzej Sekula
RUNNING TIME: 94 minutes
PRESENTATION: Widescreen 1.85:1 16:9 enhanced, Dolby Digital 5.1
SPECIAL FEATURES: Production commentary, The Making of Cube 2 - Hypercube, Director's Perspective featurette, Deleted and Alternate scenes, Storyboards, Gallery, Trailers.
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Universal
DVD RELEASE: March 24, 2004