Cellular

"Weak"

Cellular Review


"Cellular" has all the earmarks of a genuinely smart thriller rewritten by a studio-lapdog script doctor who was told it didn't have enough car chases and comic relief.

As originally conceived by Larry Cohen ("Phone Booth"), the film makes cunning use of the titular technology in its plot that follows an aimless beach dude (utterly bland buff-boy Chris Evans) whose cell phone is on the receiving end of a desperate call for help from a kidnapped woman (Kim Basinger). By tap-tap-tapping together the wires of a smashed old rotary phone, she's managed to dial his number at random from the attic where she's being held.

Disbelieving at first, Evans ("Not Another Teen Movie") is soon robbing a cell phone store for a charger (his battery is low) and stealing cars to drive like Andretti through downtown Los Angeles, trying to beat the bad guys to Basinger's son and husband (it's him they're really after) so he can save the day.

The movie's otherwise terrific tension is undermined by such overblown action, and by a distracting deluge of cheap laughs (a leathery middle-aged white woman playing loud hip-hop on her car stereo, etc.), and by the many occasions on which either Evans or the kidnappers (led by charismatic tough-guy Jason Statham) have to do something stupid to keep the story moving.

Basinger is mostly relegated to screaming and crying, while Evans' character uses the bells and whistles on his mobile phone (call logs, video captures, etc.) in truly resourceful ways to outwit the kidnappers -- who prove to be dangerous in startling ways that plausibly exclude our hero going to the police. (After attempts to do so meet ill-fated results, however, one cop, played by William H. Macy, follows his instincts to his own perilous discoveries.)

Unfortunately, director David R. Ellis ("Final Destination 2") and first-time screenwriter Chris Morgan (credited with the drafts after Cohen's) miss the boat on so many other plot blunders (e.g., an implied blackmail subplot that is never resolved) that the picture threatens to collapse if given any measure of scrutiny. It's a pity because somewhere inside "Cellular" there's a snappy Hitchcockian B-movie struggling to get out.



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: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 55%
Fresh: 81 Rotten: 67

IMDB: 6.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

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

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...

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...

Advertisement
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...

Passengers Movie Review

Passengers Movie Review

Anchored by the almost ridiculously engaging Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, this sci-fi movie travels...

Neruda Movie Review

Neruda Movie Review

Clever Chilean director Pablo Larrain (who also directed Natalie Portman's Jackie) takes on the Nobel-winning...

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

Narrated by Daisy Ridley (The Force Awakens), this documentary is one of the most gripping...

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.