Cellular

"Good"

Cellular Review


When my cell phone rings, before I answer, I always check to see who's calling. If I don't know who it is, I'll likely not accept the call. With airtime at a premium and overage charges through the roof, it just makes good sense. It's also the reason why cell phones include caller ID! But in Cellular, when a random call is accepted, it sets forth a series of events that takes one man on an incredible journey across Los Angeles to save the caller on the other line.

The man is Ryan (Chris Evans), and according to his former girlfriend Chloe (Jessica Biel), he's just an irresponsible and self-centered beach bum - not exactly the person you'd want on the line if your life depended on it. The random call comes from Jessica Martin (Kim Basinger), a science teacher and mother who's been kidnapped from her Brentwood mansion and is being held hostage in the attic of an abandoned house. While in captivity, a desperate Jessica is miraculously able to splice together some wires from a telephone that is smashed to pieces by her abductor (Jason Statham). Somehow, her resulting call reaches Ryan.

At first, Ryan dismisses her call as a fraud. But, with some persistence, Jessica is able to convince Ryan of her situation and request that he deliver his phone to the nearest police officer. At the local police station, Ryan tries to get the help of veteran Sergeant Mooney (William H. Macy). But when a riot breaks out in the station lobby that diverts Mooney's attention, Ryan assumes sole responsibility for saving the lives of Jessica and her family.

Ryan immediately becomes a vigilante for Jessica's cause. He commandeers vehicles at gunpoint, races through busy Los Angeles intersections causing accidents, and even holds up a wireless accessories store just to bypass a line to buy a phone charger that will keep his cell from dying. Apparently, the total lack of regard for his life and the safety of the others is a worthy price to pay in order to keep a stranger on the other line.

Surprisingly, despite all the chaos he creates, it's easy to get behind Ryan's cause. Unfortunately, Cellular fails fairly miserably as a thriller because we soon learn that any jam Ryan finds himself in will easily get resolved in his favor. Chris Morgan's predictable screenplay, from Larry Cohen's (Phone Booth) story, is riddled with contrivances and conveniences that only exist to further Ryan's sojourn. For instance, one of the vehicles Ryan steals just so happens to have a gun in the glove compartment that allows him to hold-up the cellular store in the very next scene.

Credit the film's underlying sarcasm about our fanatical phone use, and the convincing performances by its competent cast for making Cellular's faults more forgivable. Evans is highly likable as our hero because he presents himself as just an ordinary man thrust into a situation beyond his control. And Macy once again proves his standing as one of our best character actors by transforming an atypical authority figure into someone with quirks, fears, and simple desires.

The DVD includes a commentary track and three featurettes -- one on the 1999 Rampart scandal which loosely inspired this story.

Can you hear me now?



Cellular

Facts and Figures

Run time: 94 mins

In Theaters: Friday 10th September 2004

Box Office USA: $32.0M

Box Office Worldwide: $32M

Budget: $45M

Distributed by: New Line Cinema

Production compaines: New Line Cinema

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 55%
Fresh: 81 Rotten: 67

IMDB: 6.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Ryan, as Jessica Martin, as Ethan, as Chloe, William H. Macy as Sgt. Bob Mooney, Will Beinbrink as Young Security Guard, Valerie Cruz as Dana Bayback, Brenda Ballard as Irate Customer #1, as Marilyn Mooney, Chase Bloch as Timid Boy, Chelsea Bloch as Surf Girl's Friend, Chantille Boudousque as Chloe's Chilly Friend, Robin Brenner as Excitable Customer, as Craig Martin, Paige Cannon as Girl at Concert, Nikki Christian as Porsche Girl, John Churchill as Young Guard, Greg Collins as Aging Security Guard

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

It's been 15 years since Vin Diesel walked away from his XXX role, killing off...

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Advertisement
Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.