fredag 30 november 2018

Cube Zero

Prequels to great movies can be interesting, or a really bad idea. It all depends on how the director works with the source material, and if the director knows how to make a worthy prequel. Unfortunately, most prequels never become as good as the original film. But there are exceptions of course, and i would like to mention 2 prequels that actually turned out to be good. Let´s start with X-Men: First Class released in 2011. A prequel to the very popular X:Men film series, and this film is directed by Matthew Vaughn. What made First Class such a great X-Men film was thanks to the cast of Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, Kevin Bacon and many others. Just to see actress Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique is a delight all the way, because she does her performance so well as this classic comic book character.  Another thing i really enjoy about this film, is how we get to find out more about the mutants from a younger age. Of course we have to mention that this film is directed by Matthew Vaughn, who have directed both Kingsman films ( the first film is the best of course ). The next film that i enjoyed as a prequel is the horror movie Ouija: Origin Of Evil, released in 2016. This film is a prequel to the horrible Ouija released in 2014, and the biggest reason why the prequel is better than the 2014 film is because of the cast. Actress Elizabeth Reaser as the spiritual medium Alice Sander is a character that you feel compassion for, a woman who wants to help people but at the same time scam people for money. Young actress Annalise Basso as the older daughter Paulina Sander, gives a strong performance. And we have to mention child actress Lulu Wilson as the youngest daughter Doris Zander. Her performance is really powerful as the possessed little girl, and she really give her character a lot of depth and darkness. If you have not seen Ouija or Ouija: Origin Of Evil, i suggest you skip the 2014 film, and go right into the prequel instead. A much more solid horror film from director Mike Flanagan ( who directed a number of other horror films such as Oculus ). When it comes to making prequels to classic films, we have seen this been done many times, such as in the Star Wars franchise, and of course in The Lord Of The Rings franchise. There was even a prequel made to the cult film Cube from 1997. Since i reviewed the previous film, now it is time for my final review of the Cube franchise, with the film known as Cube Zero. A prequel that may not be mentioned very often, but is this a surprisingly good film or a prequel to a cult classic we did not need at all ?

Two men known as Eric Wynn ( Zachary Bennett ) and Dodd ( David Huband ) are controlling the cube, a secret military project where a group of selected people are placed inside different rooms inside a cube. Eric and Dodd can control the cube, but they also have to follow orders from their superiors. A group of selected people wakes up inside the cube, including Cassandra Rains ( Stephanie Rains ). She finds more people inside another room, and they have to find a way out. Eric who sits up in the control room, feels a personal connection to Cassandra, and want to get her out of the cube. He leaves the control room, breaking the rules to help Cassandra. He knows how the cube works, but can he really figure out the right exit ?

Making a prequel to the 1997 classic film Cube could of course have been a disaster. But i am happy to say that this is actually a better film than the sequel Cube 2: Hypercube. Now, this prequel is of course not as good as the original film, but let´s talk about the positive first. We get to find out how the cube is controlled, and how the chosen ones are controlled. The two characters you see controlling every room in the cube, is Eric Wynn ( Zachary Bennett ) and Dodd ( David Huband ). To see them controlling human lives with the help of technology, gives you a feeling of fear. Just imagine if you could kill anyone you want, if you feel that they don´t deserve to live ? We also get to see a few scenes how one of the women in the film was trapped, and put inside the cube. The classic concept of the original Cube film is recognized here of course, and i think it looks better than in the sequel this time. The traps feels more original, and the cube rooms looks more effective. The cast is also better in this prequel, such as Stephanie Moore ( who you might recognize from TV series Queer As Folk ).  She is both tough, and determined to survive. Actress Terri Hawkes as Jellico is another great female character in this film, that makes sure her voice is heard. Now to the negative. Martin Roach as the character Robert P. Haskell does not give a performance that you will remember. He could have done this right if he delivered some more power into his character, but instead he don´t leave any impressions. Another thing i would have liked to know since this is a prequel, how was the cube made and how did they construct it ? I´m not saying they should reveal everything, since i understand it is supposed to be some sort of secret, but a few details would have been nice. Apart from this i would have to say that Cube Zero manage to tell a story that both stands on its own, and give you a bigger picture of how the cube is operated. I especially like the scene where Eric and Dodd, who controls the cube get their meal, served as a pill. It kind of reminded me of Matrix in some ways, but here the pill you choose is instead a choice of what meal you want to have. Director Ernie Barbarash ( who actually have directed 3 films with Jean-Claude Van Damme known as Assassination Games, 6 Bullets and Pound Of Flesh ) manage to do a prequel that actually works. Instead of doing the mistakes as the sequel Cube 2: Hypercube, he tries to dig deeper into how the cube works and who is controlling it. I have to say that he also manage to do more interesting characters here than in the sequel, something that is important in a film like this. The original Cube film is of course still the best film, but Cube Zero is a prequel you should see if you enjoy the previous films. One thing is for sure, it will be interesting to see how a new remake of Cube will be ( that is supposed to come out at some point ).

Rating: DDD

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