Published on November 10th, 2009 | by simeon0
Norma Lewis (Cameron Diaz) and her husband, Arthur Lewis (James Marsden), are having a bad day. She just found out her educational scholarship will be ending and he is not going to become an astronaut even when he fits the bill. It is on this particularly challenging day that a mysterious box arrives on their doorstep. The package contains a button which when pressed is worth a million dollar payout but also will kill a random person unknown to the button pusher. Should they push the button and what happens if they do?
Based on the short story Button, Button by Richard Mathason, “The Box” stays true to Mathason’s one of a kind style. It is an interesting premise, and would make an interesting television episode, but falters as a full-length film.
“The Box” gives almost nothing to viewers, running so far off the original ‘push the button, don’t push the button’ issue as to baffle audiences. The more time goes on the more ridiculous the plot becomes and as a viewer you begin to wonder if the movie will ever end.
Furthering the joylessness of “the Box” is the overabundant use of 1970s décor and objects. Not at all subtle, the film’s need to beat you over the head with the time period is distracting from the plot of this already shaky film. Far to blatant to be unnoticeable, you leave the film not entirely sure what has happened but very sure it happened in the 1970s.
This is not to say that the film doesn’t offer some satisfaction, but the work put into stretching this short story into a full-length feature film leaves many lingering questions for the viewer.
So if you really enjoy a yellowish tint to your film going experience or overly blatant references to the 1970s you should definitely go see “The Box” but if you lack these offbeat qualities I suggest quickly reading the short story.