Armed men hijack a New York City subway train, holding the passengers hostage in return for a ransom, and turning an ordinary day's work for dispatcher Walter Garber into a face-off with the mastermind behind the crime.
A young man receives a call on his cellular phone from a woman who says she's been kidnapped, and thinks she's going to be killed soon, along with her husband and son who the kidnappers have gone after next. The catch? She doesn't know where she is... and his cell phone battery might go dead soon. Written by
On the 5 August 2004 edition of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (1992), Kim Basinger said that when she was talking on a cellular phone while standing outside a movie house bathroom waiting for a friend, she became very annoyed at the small, rude crowd that had gathered around to point and laugh at her. It was only after her friend exited the bathroom and pointed out that Basinger was standing directly in front of poster for "Cellular" that depicted her talking on a cellular phone did she understand why everyone was laughing at her. See more »
When the mobile gives a low signal, seconds later in the attic you see a moving shadow of a crewman, since Kim is the only one there and she is not moving at the time. See more »
Mom, will you still be a science teacher when I get into high school?
Hmm... You never know. Why?
'Cause I think it'd be kind of weird to have your mom as a teacher.
See more »
The first part of the closing credits show cast and crew names on cellular telephone screens. See more »
"Cellular" has the setup for a solid straight-ahead thriller: A kidnap victim who does not know where she is being held phones a total stranger who must then stay connected on his cell phone to find her before she is killed. Joel Schumacher scored earlier with a similarly phone-themed Larry Cohen story, "Phone Booth." As executed by tone-deaf director David R. Ellis, however, "Cellular" becomes an unintentionally hilarious cousin to Brian de Palma's "Raising Cain" and "Snake Eyes."
Ellis seems to have unwittingly spliced together two different films with mismatched tones: Kim Basinger as the kidnapee and Jason Statham as the kidnapper occupy the deadly-serious, straight-to-video thriller half, while Chris Evans as the rescuer and William H. Macy as a police officer seem to be in a "Saturday Night Live"-alum action comedy. Nowhere else is the disjointedness in tone more apparent than when Basinger and Evans's performances are placed side-by-side during their conversations: The scenes keep cutting between an overwrought Basinger wringing out every drop of melodrama, while a blissfully inept Evans seems to be channeling a cross between Chris Kattan/Jimmy Fallon and Ben Affleck/Keanu Reeves.
Meanwhile, Ellis pulls out tricks intended to generate thrills and surprises. He throws in out-of-nowhere "shocks," a la "Final Destination"; he throws in flashbacks; he throws in a gun-blazing Macy in Jerry Bruckheimer action-hero slo-mo; and yet, Ellis has no handle on staging any of them competently. Case in point: "Cellular" is the proud owner of one of the most ineptly scored chase sequences ever, as if Ellis simply heard a snippet of the song's lyrics ("...where you gonna run to?") literally and paid no attention to the inappropriateness of the accompanying music (which just bop, bop, bops along). (The song is even reprised during the closing credits, which itself is misbegotten in conception.)
And yet, for all of its failures as art, "Cellular" is always entertaining for those very same faults.
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