(Editor’s Note: This is another one of those “edgy” reviews… TL;DR “No sir I don’t like it.”)
What starts out as a simple question turns into a “thriller,” if you can call it that.
The Box is a simple movie really, the concept is this: Give a person a plain-looking box with a button that when pushed will lead to someone’s death. This person is someone that the pusher “does not know” who will die, while the person who pushed said button gets $1,000,000.
This test is presented to a couple, played by Cameron Diaz and James Marsden. They are not a poor family by any means, but are still struggling somewhat financially. They have an average house, a normal son, and an all-around average looking life (though he works for NASA and she teaches Sartre).
Then a man named Arlington Steward (Frank Langella) appears on their front doorstep with the plain box, and tells them that if they push it they will be given $1,000,000 and someone they do not know will die.
Then a bunch of other things happen and the movie ends.
Seriously, this is one of those movies that can be summed up as “TL;DR,” because most of the things that happen after everything you just read (which is everything you know about the movie from the frickin trailer) seems pointless and only in the movie to make it last longer than ten minutes and add some sort of “Thriller” aspect to the movie.
It simply boils down to this: The Big Red Button Theory…
WHAT IS THE BIG RED BUTTON THEORY?
It is a theory that was actually presented to myself and my fellow classmates years ago in GRADE SCHOOL, which says this: Whenever a person sees a Big Red Button that says “DON’T TOUCH,” they will ALMOST ALWAYS end up pushing the button, even if it leads to catastrophe.
I of course am paraphrasing, but simply put: this movie is a dramatization of that theory, somewhat. The couple are given an option of TAKING A HUMAN LIFE by simply pressing a button. Now, I don’t know about you, but I would assume that most human beings would find a problem with a person dying while they profit (even if all they have to do is push a button, and the person dying isn’t someone they know). They know that they aren’t supposed to do it (no clear markings on the box saying “DON’T PUSH THIS, but your inner voice SHOULD tell you it’s ethically wrong), but SPOILER ALERT: They do anyway.
It is interesting to note that the comment earlier about Cameron Diaz’s character teaching Sartre is that they were talking about “No Exit.”
Seriously, it wouldn’t have been so bad if it didn’t seem like a really long episode of a Sci-Fi TV show. Plus there was a whole trip in the middle that seemed unnecessary and boring, as if to throw in some extra story elements to confuse the viewer, which it did.
It would’ve made a great episode of The Twilight Zone, because you wouldn’t have had time for all that extra crap in the middle. Oh wait, it WAS an episode: Button Button
Save yourself the money of this rental (it’s $1 at Redbox if you absolutely have to watch it), and just read that. It’s more entertaining, sums up the story better and is much, much shorter.