Bird Box is competently made and at least worth a look, but it seems to make a habit of hitting right outside the bullseye for its entire runtime, being good enough, but never great which is, unfortunately, the movie’s greatest and most infuriating flaw. The similarities between this movie and the vastly superior A Quiet Place is more than enough to make Bird Box look and feel more like a blockbuster than its own movie… And, let’s be honest here, you can’t tell me that this movie wasn’t pitched to Netflix without someone mentioning the success of A Quiet Place.
The most glaring positive about this movie is Sandra Bullock. The movie might have been average at best, but Bullock was great, possibly giving her best performance in years. She really went all out for this movie and I applaud her for it.
I suppose my greatest issue with Bird Box is the almost complete lack of suspense. Every potentially spooky thing is telegraphed and never surprises when it takes place. Everything is obvious, nothing shocks or makes you want to clutch the sides of your chair or hold your breath in anticipation.
During the siege portion of the movie, the characters are walking clichés. Do you have the young punks, the sacrificial slightly overweight woman, the jerk who is a jerk for no reason other than to add tension to the scene, the hot leading man, the doomed black guy, the doomed Asian guy, the doomed old woman… this is a lineup of stock characters and you don’t feel a thing for them.
The movie shines brighter during the journey portion of the film when it’s just Sandra Bullock and her children. I would have been a lot more invested had Bird Box focused exclusively on that.
Still, it is marred. Even if you look at it from the human point of view, the relationship between Sandra Bullock and the two children, the movie literally skips over it all which, too me, seems incredibly lazy. The whys and the hows are irritatingly left unanswered and you’re simply left with a mother being a big meanie to two adorable children.
Bird Box isn’t awful, but it’s lackluster and lazy at worst, average at best.