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The original film, CUBE, was released in 1997. It seems a long time ago now and yet the film’s cult following have allowed it to still remain popular today. A very low budget production, this Canadian film was set in a large Cube where people awoke to find themselves there not knowing why or how they got there. The plot was intriguing and the premise was original and raised many questions. Therefore it was with much trepidation that I inserted the second film into my DVD player as there were many nuances from the first film I did not want ruined by what looked to be a big budget remake. It is worth mentioning that this review was done using the Dutch region two disc as this is not available on UK region 2 at this point in time.

Cube2: HyperCube

The Film
The main concept for this film is the same as the previous in that people wake up in different rooms, with a door on each wall, the floor and ceiling. Not knowing why they are there, nor how they got there, each person starts a quest through these doors looking for something – an exit, other people and most of all, an explanation. This is all remarkably similar to the first film however in the first film there were quite a few trapped rooms – that is to say several rooms had devices which would spring once someone had entered the room. There are a couple of traps here but not as many as in the first. The traps that are here are not like the normal traps from the first film, but computer generated weirdness.

This is a little weird in itself as the first film is all about survival however the main concept here delves into the origins of this new CUBE, how everyone is involved with it, and the conspiracy behind the events leading up to the imprisonment of these people. This was always something I wanted to know more about in the first film; however the fact that nothing really was disclosed made the concept even more tantalising. Now we find out more about it, it turns into a huge anti-climax. Eighty percent of the fun at Christmas time is working out what was in the presents. The anticipation, the guessing, the hours spent wandering around the tree trying to get a better look at the presents you weren’t allowed to feel. That is what this was like. With the second film, it’s that twenty percent after. The fun has gone and while you like your presents, it is not the same as those hours before, wondering.

This premise of the whole “Who put us in this HyperCube?” is still interesting and some of the plot is pretty interesting however the inevitable conclusion is to say the least, dull. The interaction between some of the characters is a little unrealistic. The standard psychotic hard-nut gets away with a lot more than I think someone would in a similar situation. Why he was not left behind or attacked by the group is beyond me. The traps in the HyperCube are a bit woolly and the story is interesting but ultimately a let down. The absurd amount of computer effects nearly ruin the low budget masterpiece that was the original however as a fan of the first film I had to pick this up and see what Hollywood and a budget of more than twelve pounds had done to the film. On the plus side I did think the cast did a good job. The lead played by Kari Matchett holds things together well and most of the supporting cast are quite believable in their roles.

Cube2: HyperCube

Video
The HyperCube interior is very white. The previous CUBE had different coloured rooms but here everything is white. This might be cause for concern on some transfers with a blinding light glaring off of all surfaces but the print here is mostly clean and with both excellent colour definition and good detail levels. For the most grain free, this is a good video presentation for a sub standard film.

Audio
Two audio tracks are present on this disc, both in English with optional Dutch subtitles. One Dolby Digital track and one DTS track. While not being an explosive action film, the audio on both tracks is engaging helping to immerse the listener into the cube in which the cast are trapped. There is not too much between the two sound formats here. The DTS does offer better definition and clarity of the effects but both do an acceptable job in delivering the vocals. While DTS is not a necessity here, it is always nice to have the choice and for that I am thankful.

Extras
Unfortunately the extras are next to nothing here. The so called Photo Gallery contains eight (count ‘em!) stills which are actually just taken from the film – so they are not even behind the scenes shots which makes them a little redundant since this disc also contains funnily enough, the film from which they were taken. Next up is the Theatrical Trailer. Presented in 4:3 this is not particularly enthralling and includes the trailer ruining voice-over-man.

Cube2: HyperCube

Those are all the related features. Trailers from two other unrelated films are included and all presented in 4:3. The HyperCube trailer is also present again in this section however this time it has some scrolling text at the top which cannot be removed. It seems to be advertising the Nintendo GameCube and with it being labelled SMS, I assume it is something to do with Super Mario Sunshine however since I do not speak or read Dutch, it could be telling me how to use my GameCube as a lethal weapon for all I know. A poor show.

Overall
This isn’t a bad film. It is not however, a good film by any stretch of the imagination. It does build on the first film and I would imagine a lot of people who liked the first film will see this if only to see what happened next. Probably worth a rental if you liked the first film, however I very much doubt that this film will inspire people to then check out the original outing. Which is a shame. The DVD is presented well enough but a lack of extras does not help, even if it does come with a DTS soundtrack.


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