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Home Movies Reviews ‘Bird Box Barcelona’ Netflix Movie Review - An Unmemorable Spin-Off

‘Bird Box Barcelona’ Netflix Movie Review - An Unmemorable Spin-Off

A deadly new threat emerges as a mysterious force decimates humanity in Barcelona in this spin-off to the blockbuster, ‘Bird Box.’

Vikas Yadav - Fri, 14 Jul 2023 18:48:57 +0100 993 Views
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The 2018 Bird Box, despite being a hit on Netflix, was unmemorable. It had strong names attached to it, like Sandra Bullock, John Malkovich, and Sarah Paulson, though their talents were underutilized and constricted to generic mannerisms. Nothing about Bird Box screamed sequel or prequel, but nowadays, it's almost impossible to let go of a film. Franchises are the new trend, and the cinematic landscape is infected with "content." Movies like Bird Box and Bird Box Barcelona exist without rigor. They are unimaginative sci-fi products that aren't interested in building their worlds. Instead, they use their setting to offer minor pleasures.

Directed by Álex Pastor and David Pastor, Bird Box Barcelona once again throws us into an apocalyptic world where the characters use blindfolds or blackout goggles to save themselves from a mysterious foe. Anyone who opens their eyes and looks at this unknown entity commits suicide promptly. Like that Susanne Bier film, this spin-off excels during violent scenes. The camera shakes vigorously during moments of chaos, and some of the kills are so intense they make you twitch.

But who are these mysterious entities? In Bird Box Barcelona, they are used as manipulators and catalysts, invoking terrible memories within the characters. They "brainwash" Sebastián (Mario Casas) into thinking he's the shepherd doing God's work by helping the deadly forces murder other human beings. He notices a yellow light (soul) escaping from the corpses, leading him to believe he is the good guy. When Sebastián starts doubting his mission, he sees blood flowing from the bodies. A character utters a similar line, in case you don't grasp this point. The unseen enemy also has a cult following. A priest and some of his men force people to look at the entity (they are hyped as crazy, powerful baddies, but all of them go out with a whimper). One can mine various social, political, and psychological interpretations from all these points, but this is the truth: Bird Box Barcelona doesn't flesh out its story. It fails to develop itself as a detailed piece of science fiction and moves ahead with scanty, undefined ingredients. Why doesn't a dog kill himself after seeing the entity, but so many birds crash into glass panels?

If Bird Box Barcelona had emerged from a creative mind, it would have explored different facets of self-harm. However, the film is only interested in deploying this aspect for sentimentality and thrills. Bird Box Barcelona moves between Sebastián's past and his present. The flashbacks tell us what happened to him and his daughter (Alejandra Howard), while the current timeline shows him with a new objective and a new daughter-like figure named Sofia (Naila Schuberth). The events concerning Sebastián and his family should have evoked pathos, but they look like fillers inserted to merely eat up the runtime. We easily understand what difficulties Sebastián and his daughter must have faced in the past timeline, and the movie only proves our prediction right. There are no surprises and not a single trace of sadness. The horrifying event doesn't truly affect us because it's shot in an unremarkable manner. It's more functional than sorrowful. It should also be noted that details regarding THE incident are spoiled through brief visuals scattered here and there.

I mentioned how the 2018 Bird Box assembled adept actors and underutilized their talents. Well, Bird Box Barcelona also does something similar. All the actors are competent. However, they are asked to deliver uninspiring gestures. For a movie that tries to conjure fear from the unseen and the unknown, there is not a single scene or shot here that effectively conveys the horror of walking in a space without the help of eyesight. Even the subjective shots of blindfolded characters are brief and do nothing to heighten the tension. You can counter this criticism by mentioning that the movie is about a character who can see everything without any danger, and the film merely adopts his perception. But by that logic, we should have also seen those supernatural creatures, right? Are they invisible? Don't look for answers here. The explanation offered in the end only opens doors for more sequels.

Final Score- [5/10]
Reviewed by - Vikas Yadav
Follow @vikasonorous on Twitter
Publisher at Midgard Times



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