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Film: Cube 2: Hypercube

Cube 2: Hypercube is a 2002 Canadian science fiction/horror film and the second film in the Cube series.

A group of strangers wake up to find themselves in a cubical structure with no idea how they got there. As they continue to explore the place they realize that the incomprehensible maze they're in doesn't even obey the laws of physics, with rooms jumping around and looping in on themselves and parallel dimensions intersecting. Some members may even know more about their captors, the mysterious Izon corporation.

This film provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Although not as pronounced in the beginning, when the situation requires it, Kate is remarkably strong and skilled at fighting (as demonstrated by the numerous times she managed to beat Simon's ass whenever he tried to restrain her or fight her). Of course, it's later revealed in the Twist Ending that Kate was actually a hired professional from Izon whose mission was to retrieve Alex's necklace.
  • Alien Geometries: A rare portrayal of this trope being employed in a visual medium. The actual warped geometry shows up only a few times due to the special effects required being rather expensive; the rest of the time it's showcased indirectly (e.g. duplicates of characters showing up).
  • Alternate Universe: The hypercube transects parallel universes. The characters don't realize this until they start running into duplicates of themselves and each other. Exploited by one character who uses them as a human food source.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Max calls the rest of the group crazy for even considering that space and time could be distorted in the cube (despite repeatedly witnessing things that are physically impossible, such as the rooms instantaneously moving around) and argues that there has to be a logical explanation, such as an optical illusion. At the same time he berates the others for not believing in his conspiracy theories, and is convinced that the cube is operated by a mysterious superhacker called Alex Trusk.
  • Ax-Crazy: Quentin in Cube, Simon in Hypercube.
  • Arc Number: The number 60659, which the characters encounter written on one of the walls and suspect may be a clue to finding their way out of the death maze. It's the time period in minutes until the hypercube collapses in on itself and the dimensional portal from the physical world closes.
  • Ascetic Aesthetic: In constrast to the first Cube, this cube has a user-friendly look, with sleek white surfaces and touch-to-open panels.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The overseers of the Hypercube kill everyone they set out to get rid of by throwing them into the highly dangerous environment, and retrieve Alex Trusk's device. And they kill Kate, their own employee, probably because she knew too much or because it was a suicide mission from the start.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The true identity of the hacker "Alex Trusk" is hinted at for anyone familiar with how Slavic diminutive names work, since Alex is actually Sasha, a female character whose name is the diminutive form of Alexander/Alexandra.
  • Bizarrchitecture: This film takes the concept to a whole new level, adding strange gravitational and time effects, as well as much more. The matrix of cubes is, in this movie, a tesseract, which is made by extending a cube along a fourth spatial dimension. It's about as comprehensible as it sounds. There are also bizarre quantum effects, which combine with the temporal and spatial effects mean that once someone goes IN, they will never stop coming OUT, with every copy having had a different set of experiences inside. This turns out to be rather important to the closing explanation of what the hell's actually been going ON in this film that's got a plot almost as weird as the setting.
  • Blind Seer: The blind character Sasha can sense the hypercube environment's threats coming long before any of the others. Subverted later on when it's revealed that she actually helped to design the cube, so she knows vaguely what kind of threats there are. She probably just acted as though it were supernatural feelings that caused her to "sense" it, instead of letting people know who she was and why she knows the dangers.
  • Conspicuous CG: Really obvious at several points - when Kate uses the doors to tackle I Am A Humanitarian from behind, it switches to VERY obvious CG as extra frames appear, when Kate approaches the time limit and the cube begins to collapse, and at the ending, as Kate is shot and the movie ends, it is VERY obvious that it was CG - human bodies do not fall like that.
  • Creepy Souvenir: The guy who resorts to eating people to survive collects the watches and ID tags of people he's eaten.
  • Daylight Horror: EVERY chamber is practically a White Void Room.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Sasha, aka Alex Trusk, eventually gives up hope that she can escape the hypercube and completely resigns herself to her impending death. This doesn't stop Simon from murdering her in cold blood anyway.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: After surviving many perils, the heroine, who turns up to be a special agent, manages to escape the Hypercube and return to the normal world... where her superior has her summarily shot in the back of the head for no apparent reason. The worst is that she obviously knows what's coming, but merely closes her eyes instead of trying anything.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Julia, who is barefoot for nearly all the movie. Justified, as wearing dress sandals in her situation is not practical.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: The supposed superhacker and mastermind Alex Trusk turns out to be... a blind girl?
  • Driven to Suicide: Subverted and played straight with Colonel Maguire. The first time around he's saved in time by the group, but the second time he voluntarily chains himself to a wall so he can be killed by one of the traps, before swallowing the key.
  • Eldritch Location: The Hypercube is the theoretical construct of a tesseract made reality by constructing some sort of pocket dimension. The laws of physics are bent around in the place, making the entire thing an inescapable death trap.
  • Everything Is an iPod in the Future: Instead of something out of hell with dark shadows, visible circuit boards, spinning doorlatches and rumbling elevators, the environment of the new tesseract cube is almost user-friendly with all white surfaces and touch-to-open panels.
  • Eye Scream: When a character who's gone mad and started eating people tries to kill Kate, she uses his own knife against him by stabbing him in the eye. He wanders around for years more in the hypercube vowing revenge, encountering Kate again seconds after the original incident.
  • Foreshadowing: In one of her rare lucid flashes, the senile Mrs. Paley assures Kate that "it's only a matter of time", foreshadowing the hypercube's eventual collapse.
  • Geeky Turn-On: When Julia tells the nerdy game developer Max that she knows about the computer company Cyberthrill, he excitedly asks her if she's into computer games. It's actually just a subsidiary of the Mega Corp. she works for.
  • Gender Misdirection: Many people are looking for "Alex Trusk", who is only known by name, as a hacker. It turns out that "Alex" is Sasha, who has been in the hypercube with them the whole time. Also doubles as a Bilingual Bonus since "Sasha" is a common diminutive for people named Alexander/Alexandra in Slavic countries
  • Genre Shift: The first movie was at least somewhat grounded in reality, with the cube structure obviously futuristic, but still employing normal and believable machinery. The second replaces this with some sort of physically impossible mega-structure consisting of millions of rooms that freely employs Time Travel, intersecting parallel universes, and many more "hardcore sci-fi" contraptions.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Kate does this to Jerry when he starts to ramble too much while he's explaining the physics of the hypercube.
  • Gorn: Averted. The only one who dies a bloody death is Jerry, and even his is sort of... abstract.
  • Hackette: The superhacker Alex Trusk turns out to be Sasha. Her name is the Russian diminutive of Alexander/Alexandra.
  • He Knows Too Much: This appears to be the entire reason why almost everyone was thrown into the hypercube to die, as they all have some sort of connection to the hypercube's controllers. Except for Sasha, who it's revealed went inside willingly to hide, and Kate, who's an operative sent in with a mission. It's also why Kate's superiors summarily execute her when she returns with her mission accomplished.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: One character solves his food supply problem by systematically hunting down, killing, and eating multiple iterations of a scientist who had worked on the Hypercube and was subsequently trapped inside with the others. Also on his lunch-list is a female researcher whom he had initially been sent inside to find. His arms and neck are lined with the two characters' watches and ID tags, respectively, by his final scene, as a morbid sort of trophy collection. He's also gone gray at the temples, implying he's been eating people for years to survive.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Julia is treated by the other characters (and herself) as a bombshell, while she's really no more attractive than any of them, or for that matter the average person.
  • Interrupted Suicide: Colonel Maguire tries to kill himself by hanging himself with his own belt, but is saved when the others run into him and get him down. He succeeds in killing himself through other means not much later.
  • Irony: Simon reveals to Jerry that he is actually a private detective. He was working a missing persons case and looking for Becky Young, somebody who worked for Izon, which is undoubtedly the reason they threw Simon into the hypercube to get rid of him. Jerry can't help but point out the irony of Simon's objective given their current situation.
  • The Load: Played straight with Mrs. Paley, a senile old woman. She does provide one clue when it turns out that she used to work for the mysterious organization behind the hypercube, but otherwise she's just a burden who is completely oblivious and can't help anyone.
  • Mega Corp.: The Izon organization, which is implied in this film to be behind the cube. It has multiple secret subsidiaries and connections with the U.S. military and Washington think tanks, while having enough power for black ops experiments in building extra-dimensional mazes.
  • Neck Snap: At the end Simon murders Sasha by breaking her neck.
  • Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: It will probably come off as this. In reality, a "hypercube" is the informal name of a tesseract, a spatially four-dimensional cube (which actually has nothing in common with the complex megastructure shown in this film, which is nevertheless called a hypercube).
    • Possibly an aversion of Viewers Are Geniuses, combined with Rule of Cool, as most people probably aren't familiar with "simple" four-dimensional objects, let alone complex five-dimensional ones.
  • Oh Crap: Colonel Maguire chains himself to a wall so he can be killed by one of the traps, a transparent, moving cube wall that ages all the matter in the room by decades if not hundreds of years. Seeing the effect it has on his briefcase leads him to remark "this is gonna hurt".
  • Psycho Party Member: Simon Grady is the strongest person and the only one to carry a knife. He doesn't go psycho until he's seperated from most of the group and ties up and interrogates Mrs. Paley because he thinks her senility is just an act. He eventually stops giving a crap and starts eating people to survive, surviving for years due to all the parallel universe duplicates walking around that he can prey on.
  • Recursive Reality: Kate at one point opens a door to escape someone who turned murderer, accessing the opposing door from the same room she is already in. Even the madman is a bit baffled at this.
  • Sinister Geometry: The hypercube is the deathtrap. And has this weird tesselation thing at one point that does strange things to reality... as well as dice up one of the characters.
  • Sole Survivor: Subverted. Kate is the single survivor of the Hypercube and the only one to escape it, but is executed immediately afterwards before her superior.
  • Suicide Mission: It's strongly implied that this was Kate's mission from the get go. She finds Alex Trusk and retrieves her data device, then escapes the hypercube against all odds. Her superior thanks her for her service and then has her shot to make sure she won't talk. Kate doesn't even protest her execution and simply closes her eyes when she hears the man behind her pull out his gun.
  • There Are No Girls on the Internet: The (female) protagonist is surprised to find out that the legendary hacker "Alex Trusk" is a girl, as the guy who originally told her about Alex assumed "he" must be male.
  • This Is Reality: "This isn't a game, Kate. There is no happy ending."
  • Unreliable Voiceover: This was used early in the movie. One of the characters said he was a management consultant, but his flashbacks showed he was actually a private detective. The other ones don't so much directly lie as leave out the fact that they're all connected to the hypercube's creators or know more than they let on. For instance, one of them is actually a freelance superhacker who designed the thing and another is an operative working for the organization behind it.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: Despite being continually referred to as such, a hypercube is not an incomprehensible megastructure with over sixty million cubical rooms, instantaneously moving rooms, time travel, and intersecting parallel universes. It is simply a four-dimensional geometric concept, also known as a tesseract. While it does seems like a tesseract early on (going 4 rooms in one direction seemingly takes you back to where you started) the structure seems to have five or more dimensions (apparently counting time as one), so calling it a "hypercube" is like calling a cubist sculpture "a square".
  • Zero-G Spot: Two characters, feeling that their deaths are inevitable, have sex in the center of one of the cube rooms that has zero gravity (and possibly accelerated time) until they apparently die of dehydration and eventually desiccate.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: The main characters' stay in the hypercube appear to take place around several days. When Kate emerges on the outside, the Hypercube collapsed in 6 hours, 6 minutes, 59 seconds in real world time. To complicate things, time is relative in the place and some are stuck for what literally appear to be years.

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