I thought Cube was a fantastic film, and a supreme example of the effectiveness of using an enclosed space as the setting for a psychological thriller. Thus I was pretty excited at the prospect of seeing the director’s next film.
Cypher is an interesting film – it fascinated me as I watched it, but now, three hours later, I can’t remember it being that good. There were certainly many things that work against it. First of all, it’s very hard to sympathise with a character whose very identity and motivations are constantly in a state of flux. Jeremy Northam’s character is so disjointed that I found it very hard to actually care about him. Northam seemed to almost devoid of emotion at times, and – assuming this was intended – I think this was a mistake. Whilst the film provided plenty of mystery, I never had much attachment to the protagonist in the way that I did with, say, Dark City.
Secondly I think that Natali was kinda spoilt for choice. With a much bigger budget and the ability to move around more than a 5 cubic metre set, the director certainly had big plans concerning the scope of the film. It appears that the makers pushed too far, however – more money is never quite enough money. While the few effects shots in Cube (which I understand were done by the effects company pro bono) were supremely effective, Cypher seems to try just a little bit too hard. Sometimes it looks fantastic, but other times it looks plain silly (ie: the helicopter. Oh, and this big shiny metal thing that seemed to be a leftover from one of the Men In Black movies). I think somebody needed to tell the filmmakers when to stop.
All that being said, I did enjoy Cypher quite a lot, I just wasn’t left with any particular wish to see it a second time like I was with Cube.
Oh, and can somebody please explain why it’s called Cypher?Rating: