Like a lot of people, I was pretty impressed by Cube when I saw it in the late 90s. It was probably the first “people wake up in a strange place and have to figure out how they’re connected/why they’re there” movie, but I was also impressed with the concept of a huge puzzle prison being put together by so many people that no one really knew what was going on. I don’t remember much of the plot aside from that or any of the characters specifically, but I liked the movie. I only saw it the one time though.
Which is probably a good thing because Cube 2: Hypercube is pretty much the same movie but with worse special effects and more difficult concepts to wrap your head around. In fact, I think watching the first movie and the second fifteen years or so apart is probably the best way to watch them. Technically, there are enough differences that it didn’t feel like the exact same movie, but it is basically the same structure with a different, more high tech coat of paint, like a remake more than a sequel.
See, this time around, a bunch of people who inadvertently invented the cube prison find themselves in a series of interlocking, but moving rooms. This time around, though, it’s not a simple mechanical movement, but one aided by string theory and other physics concepts I don’t really understand. Even when shown the prison from the outside, I had no idea what was going on. I think the general ideas could have been well-implemented, but the film’s crappy CGI cuts the legs out from under concepts. There’s a four dimensional object at one point that looks like something off of a Trapper Keeper.
The performances are good, but the real bright spot for me was the discovery that Kari Matchett stars in the movie. That’s not a name you might recognize (and one I only learned from looking the movie up), but she plays Joan on Covert Affairs. I admit to having a bit of a crush on her, but she’s also really great at playing badass yet empathetic characters. Her twist ending (a double twist, I guess) wasn’t a huge surprise because I accidentally read too much on the Wiki page while watching the movie, but I thought the general downer ending was pretty interesting.
Overall, Cube 2 is an okay movie with good acting and some crummy CGI effects. However, if you’ve never seen the original or haven’t seen it in about a decade, it might be worth checking out on Netflix Instant. Or maybe not. I wouldn’t spend my only movie-watching time on it, but if you’re like me and like to have something on in the background, you can do worse.