Cube Zero

Starring: Zachary Bennett, Stephanie Moore, Michael Riley and David Hubbard
Mosaic Entertainment
Certificate: 15
Available 14 February 2005

Wynn is a computer technician who becomes infatuated with Cassandra a beautiful woman trapped inside the Cube. Risking everything, Wynn accesses top secret files to discover her criminal history and discovers that the 'criminals' are actually hapless victims who have been randomly selected to undergo experimentation. Using his knowledge of the Cube, Wynn decides to infiltrate the maze in a fateful attempt to rescue the woman and put an end to the tyranny of the Cube...

Cube Zero is the third movie in the franchise. However, whereas the previous two films have tended to concentrate on the mysterious cube and all its sick traps, this prequel also looks at the lives of some of the low level technicians whose job it is to keep everything ticking over smoothly.

But don't for a second think that this means the producers have eased off on the gore... far from it. In fact, this movie starts off the way it means to proceed - very graphically. Yes this movie is still as sick as the others in the franchise but whereas the first movie was one big mystery and the second had a rather odd ending that tried to explain everything, Cube Zero attempts to explain (in part) what the cube is about and who is behind it. The ending will make no sense at all unless you've seen the first movie - in which case you'll love the twist.

While, sadly, the characters are more two-dimensional than the original movie, there are some stand out performances. Michael Riley is fantastic as the villain, Jax. The character is more pantomime villain than you'd expect, but this adds some much needed humour. Also David Hubbard's portrayal of Dodd stands out as an admirable performance.

Zachary Bennett's performance as Eric Wynn is fine, but nothing spectacular. But that is not down to the actor - the character is a little too flat. As is the female lead, Cassandra, (Stephanie Moore). I didn't understand what her having a daughter was all about. This was something mentioned quite a bit in the movie, but never explored fully.

Probably the worst crime is that both Martin Roach (Haskell) and Mike Nahrgand (Meyerhold) are under used. In fact, that seems to be a problem with the majority of the victims in this movie... we just don't get the time to identify with them.

As a prequel this works well. It sets up nicely events that will follow in the other movies. It's well paced, well acted and squeamishly sick. Fans of the franchise will, I'm sure, love this new take on familiar ground and newcomers should also get quite a kick out of this fun, if somewhat bizarre, offering.

Extras on this DVD include Inside the Box featurette; director's commentary; music video, storyboard comparison and conceptual art gallery.

Cube Zero will knock you for six!

Darren Rea

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