Eight strangers wake up in a maze of cubed rooms, but something's amiss when they realize that gravity shifts depending on what door you go through and time loops back on itself. They're trapped in a hypercube and need to find a way out.
People in beds, coated in plastic. These, of course, are to be our main characters. The camera pans over about 8 of them before fading into an eye, and from this, flashes of a scientific complex begin to flash, the name Izon is shown, and we see a woman named Rebecca as she wakes up, alone, inside a cube-shaped room. She calls out for help, but no one can hear her. She's alone and, as a strange noise ripples through the room, she walks over to a wall and begins climbing it. Her hand touches a smooth pad on the wall, which opens to revel another room.
As she crawls to the other side, she suddenly falls upwards, and the credits roll.
It opens up once more on a man with glasses, missing a shoe and carrying an empty briefcase, which he flails around angrily, screaming about his numbers until a scream rents the air. He stops, frightened, and lies down on the floor and starts to pray.
The film then cuts to a young blonde woman dressed in white. She sees a man on the floor and walks over, checking his pulse, which is when he grabs her, throws her down and pulls a knife on her. Telling her to blink once for yes and twice for no, he starts to ask if she's alone, which she is. He releases her and starts to ask how many rooms she's been in, but it gets interrupted by the sound of a door opening, and some kid pops his head in from the top, then the side, then the other side, seemingly teleporting. The blonde woman goes through a door after him and, when the door closes, she attempts to go back but finds that the room she had left is no longer there- the man with the knife is gone, though he'd been right behind her.
In another room, the blonde woman, Kate, finds a blind girl named Sasha. While they're talking, the floor opens and a weasely man named Jerry comes in, excited to find other people. He says he's been wandering for hours and walks over to the wall, marking it a 4- though he's been there for hours, this is still only the 4th room he's been in.
A strange sound rends the air again, and Sasha freaks out, saying that there's something coming after them and it wants them dead. She doesn't know what it is, though.
They decide to move along and find a room where a man is hanging from the roof, and someone is holding him to keep him from choking. They rush in and try to help and Simon, the man with the knife, comes in later as well and decides to help. The man's name is Thomas Macguire, a colonel at the Department of Defense. The man who was helping him is Max, a computer programmer who thinks that they're in a prison.
Simon starts to look over Thomas and notices that he's been beaten, has cigarette burns on his hand and bruises on his face when, again, a door opens and a little old lady comes in, complaining that she can never find the showers in this gym. Her name is Mrs. Paley, and she obviously has no idea what she's doing here, or even where she is (only more so than the rest, to the point of dementia). She does postulate that they're in Hell, though, which no one seems to pay any credence to.
The wall then shifts in a strange way, and Sasha whispers "it's here...", though no one really pays attention because Simon is interrogating Thomas. Thomas says that you have to crack the code to get out, and that the 'first one' had rules, numbers and whatnot. Max has had enough and tries to go to another room, but the wal begins to move and a strange force field starts to move across the room. Everyone begins to scramble through, except Thomas. He chooses to handcuff himself to the wall instead, and when Kate tries to open it, he swallows the key.
As she struggles with the cuffs, shadows of everything they had done before echo in the background, as if time is folding on itself. Thomas is burned up by the moving wall, and the group finds no solace in the new room they go into- the wall continues to follow them until they switch their direction.
By now, Jerry has marked 10 rooms, and it's apparent that Mrs. Paley doesn't have the best memory, as she forgot who Kate is and had to reintroduce herself. A more important piece of development, though, comes from Jerry casually mentioning that he designed the door panels, but couldn't say anything because he signed a confidentiality report. All he knows are the rumors- rumors about quantum teleportation.
Mrs. Paley finds a tesseract on the floor while they're arguing. A tesseract is a hypercube- that is, a cube that has another dimension added in to it, and he feels the signs are all there, like rooms folding in on themselves and teleportation. Though these aren't supposed to be real, though, so they've wound up going nowhere.
60659. The number appears suddenly on the ceiling, though none of them had written it there. Mrs. Paley suggests that in a hypercube, there could be millions of rooms, so such a number isn't really a surprise. Max, once more bored by the situation, decides to move on and finds a girl in a red dress sitting on the floor. She wakes up and freaks out as everyone starts pouring into the room. Julia, the girl, then asks how she got there, which causes everyone to stop and wonder what they were doing before hand and how they even got there.
Jerry is a private contracter who lived in Lincoln, Nebraska. Kate was driving hom from Maine state hospital. Simon lives in New Haven, where he works as a management consultant. Max lives in Paulo Alto and makes games. Sasha is from New Mexico. Mrs. Paley remembers walking the dog, and Julia was at an after party for a premiere, and she works as an accountant. There seems to be no sense to who was chosen and why. Intercutting their musings as to how they got there are picture of people observing them, coming in to their houses or following them, cameras planting to show that this is probably pre decided. Kate begins to wonder what's going on and finds a second number.
60659 again, though in the middle of a group of other numbers, showing it's a different room, and Jerry finds a watch. It's his watch, he notices, even though he's still wearing his watch. The engravings on the back are still there, as it was a gift from his wife. As they're wondering this, Mrs. Paley decides randomly to open a door and they find a dead man inside.
They flip him over and notice his chest is covered with mathematical equations, all written upside down, to show that he's been writing on himself, and they notice that it's the same handwriting as the numbers they've been finding. Mrs. Paley, who's a font of knowledge only when she needs to be, recognizes him immediately as Dr. Rosenzweig, a leading physicist in quantum chaos. After a pointless jump scare, he dies for good.
The numbers are all over the room, calculations everywhere. Mrs. Paley then freaks out, looking for her dog Izon, which everyone feels is so strange because that's the name of a weapons manufacturer. When they press Mrs. Paley for information, she explains that she was a theoretical mathematician who once worked for Izon and name drops Alex Trusk, a hacker extraordinaire, and Max feels like it's the kind of stunt he'd pull, this cube..
Mrs. Paley continues to spout about how 'it won't last' and 'some things should not be built', until she decides she can hear her dog. She opens a door and sees herself. She grasps hands with herself, and the other her tells her "help me" as she gets stabbed. Another Simon pops up and says "Don't trust the old cunt!" and something comes out and destroys his head.
Jerry decides that if they're in a parallel dimension, it's possible for alternate realities to exist in the same space. A place where somethings don't happen exactly the same. He mentions that the idea popped into his head in the last room, where his watch was, because he'd thought about leaving markers, like his watch, just so they know if they'd been in a room or not. His watch being there helps his theory, since it seems like his alternate self decided to leave the watch, but his real self didn't. Getting nowhere just sitting around, they decide to move along.
With the rest of the group asleep, Simon reveals to Jerry that he's a private investigator and he's looking for Rebecca Young, the woman from the beginning, a missing person who used to work for Izon.
As they're talking floating square appears in the air, which starts to add dimensions to itself. Mrs. Paley is excited by the shape, by its math, and moves to touch it, but it freaks out and starts to fly around the room, cutting Jerry in the process. He falls to the floor and gets eaten up by the strange figure while the others escape and Kate goes back for Sasha, who is stuck against a wall as the shape begins to oscillate wildly in the middle of the room, filling almost all of it. The door closes on Simon, Max, Julia and Mrs. Paley, splitting them from Kate and Sasha.
As they cower in a corner, the shape stops and shrinks again, now small enough that it can catch them again. In their panic to escape, Kate throws Sasha against a wall and her blind-girl sunglasses fall off, which the shape then eats. Kate realizes it responds to their movement (ed. note- if so, then why did it go so crazy when they were doing nothing in a corner?), and when they stop moving, it disappears (like it was bored). They then move on.
It then cuts to Simon with Mrs. Paley tied to the floor. The vision of himself dying has shocked him, it seems, and he's willing to do anything to her for answers to what's going on. While they're talking, some sort of strange crystal polls start to come out of the wall and Simon, afraid of his own death, kills Mrs. Paley and runs over into another room, after Max and Julia, who enter a room that catches their silhouettes for no apparent reason.
Kate's looking at the numbers, looking for rhyme or reason, but finds none, and Sasha begins to wonder why she's even trying. This could be coordinates in the 4th dimension or a serial number or anything, It's impossible to tell.
Max and Julia, meanwhile, have discovered variable speed rooms, but Simon has made a better discovery- Jerry. Apparently an alternate dimension one, as he just woke up and doesn't remember anything. Simon realizes he doesn't really care any more and asks Jerry if he's hungry. Jerry says 'I guess', but Simon says he's starving, and we're left to assume that Simon kills and eats this other version of Jerry.
As Kate and Sasha continue to explore on their own, Kate stumbles into a room that holds a grisly vision- apparently, in another dimension, they survived long enough to die of starvation together. Their rotted husks sit against a wall, Max's head on Julia's lap. The camera lingers on them and then we cut back to Max and Julia, for some rather pointless exposition, and then returns to Kate and Sasha.
Sasha kind of snaps and tells Kate that if she hasn't figured anything out, there's no way Kate would, and then explains that Max was slightly right, and that she does exist. Alexandra is her real first name. Alexandra, or Alex, Trusk, and she's actually hiding inside the cube because there's no way they'd look for her in there. She didn't design in, and was actually protesting it when she began to fear for her life and hid.
After this, it cuts back to Max and Julia, and the Cube franchise has its first and only sex scene. It's weird and they're flying around in space, and about as pointless as anything could be.
Meanwhile, though, Simon has been hunting Jerrys. He already has 3 watches when all of a sudden, the woman of his employ pops in- Rebecca Young. She's excited to see another person and he explains who he is and what he's there for when suddenly, he kills her and whispers "gotta love these parallel universes." (ed. note- this may imply he's already met and disposed of one Rebecca already).
Sasha-now-Alex is explaining that she was hired to make Izon a hypercube and came through in spades. The place is unstable, she says, and that people were put inside is just unforgivable to her. Kate begins to freak out since there seems to be no way out and looks into other rooms, finding a dead Thomas, long dead, and a floating pair of dead bodies copulating in midair (Max and Julia, of course, in their own alternate dimensional form). Alex explains that all the realities are collapsing in on themselves and everything will implode if they stay inside. She freaks out more and opens every door around the room, seeing herself die, Jerry die again, and finding Simon, stealing his knife, and stabbing him in the eye.
An older Simon then appears behind her, holding on to Alex, with a lovely collection of watches and name tags from Rebecca, and a beautiful, dead eye. He explains that he's hungry, and kills Alex. Kate tries to escape, but the room is merely circling back in on itself, so she attacks him using that and kills him.
As she sits there, wondering what to do next, she looks at the watches and sees it's 6:06 and realizes that the professor had figured out when the cube would collapse on itself, 6:06:59. She turns, rips something off of Alex's neck, and jumps out of the hypercube.
She then wakes up in a pool of some sort and 2 men come out and grab her. "Welcome back, Kate," says a man in a suit talking to her, and it's revealed that she too works for Izon and was sent in to get a device of some sort off of Alex, which is what she turned and grabbed. Then, one of the men behind her kills her.
A phone rings and the man who answers says that phase 2 is complete. The movie then pans back as everyone exits the room of the strange complex and the credits begin to roll.
Additions to the Cube Universe
Any of the actual hard facts about what the Cube is are adressed in some way here, though it's hard to know if they're true in the first movie as well, since that movie takes place in what can be assumed to be a large time before this one(hence the jump in technology: touch pads, teleportation, etc). Izon is introduced and though it doesn't specifically say it's them who created the Cube, it's hinted at strongly through the flashbacks showing what they were doing before they got to inside the Cube and the fact that the name continues to be thrown around.
Otherwise, the film adds little to the universe, keeping much past the origin of the Cube still a mystery- for example, why was it built? Who usually gets thrown in, what sorts of people are chosen? Is it something created by the government? What sort of plans, if any, even exist for the Cube? Most of this remains blissfully unanswered, instead leaving the viewer with everyone dead, the Cube collapsed on itself and only 1 real answer in the end- Izon.