Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is in a car accident and awakes to an injured leg and a chain securing her to a bare wall, and soon she meets the man responsible. Howard (John Goodman) is a self-described “sensible guy,” and he needs her to know three things. An attack of some kind has left the world outside this underground bunker saturated with poison gas, he’s responsible for saving her life, and as he says plainly right before her face drains of hope and vigor, “No one is looking for you.” Michelle soon gets the lay of the strictly dictated land. She’s not allowed to leave — it’s for her own safety, but the multiple padlocks on the bunker’s hatches, as well as the gun on Howard’s belt, make it a difficult prospect regardless — but it should only take a year or two for the deadly gas above to dissipate.
You should buy it. Issues with the ending aside, this is a top-notch, claustrophobic little thriller. The majority of the film takes place in cramped quarters, and director Dan Trachtenberg makes sure we feel that lack of space in our lungs. An air vent sequence in particular might just trigger fears you never knew you had. We grow to understand the geography of the bunker along with Michelle, but just as important and well-defined is the film’s attention to sound design as both the familiar and the foreign reverberate between the walls. Scenes of plausible serenity give way to suspense and terror, sometimes slowly, excruciatingly, and sometimes faster than we’re prepared for — blame Goodman for most of the latter instances — and the entirety holds viewers in a grip that only continues to tighten. Don’t worry about its connection to Cloverfield, and just enjoy the ride.
Eddie the Eagle
Eddie is a bespectacled kid with a leg brace in ’70s England when he decides his life goal is becoming an athlete in the Olympics. He perseveres while no one believes in him, breaking multiple pairs of glasses in the process, and by 1987 Eddie (Taron Egerton) comes to settle on ski jumping. England has no team, which is fine as Eddie has no coach or experience. One of those things changes when he meets Bronson Peary (Hugh Jackman), an ex-American ski jumper has-been who takes Eddie under his wing as the young man heads into the ’88 Winter Olympics to compete and make his mark on sports history.
You should rent it? The story is true, but the film trades facts for the desire to channel the 1980s. It’s not a spoof, but elements like the poppy synth score, elder official with a stick up his behind, and sneering and sculpted competitors give a punchy, dated feel as it aims for laughs and heart in equal measure. Neither overwhelm, but they’re both here. Egerton is game for the goofiness and shows some comedic chops, similar to Kingsmen. Jackman nails the role of mentor though with the strut and presence of a movie star and earns more than a few laughs of his own. It’s as slight as they come, but enough laughs, charm, and inspirational energy exists to make it a fun if slightly forgettable watch.