After dropping her son off at the bus stop, the doting mum and high school science teacher, Jessica Martin, is kidnapped at gunpoint, and thrown in an unknown attic with only a nearly unusable phone. As her world turns upside down in an instant, the desperate mother manages to jury-rig the device and connects with the cell phone of the young college student, Ryan. Now, Jessica's life is literally in Ryan's hands--and as the ruthless abductors threaten to kill her--Ryan has to act fast to rescue the woman on the other end of the line. However, with a dying battery, how can Ryan save Jessica when this could be her last phone call?Written by
Larry Cohen worked on the script while he tried to get his screenplay Phone Booth (2002) sold. In a New Yorker article he says he wrote the film with the intention that it would be the direct opposite to Phone Booth (Phone Booth is about a man trapped on a phone in a booth, while this movie is about a man who is still trapped on a phone but can go anywhere). However, his friends told him that he had written the same screenplay twice. See more »
When the shooting occurs at the Santa Monica Pier, the responding officers are from the LAPD. Since the pier is within the Santa Monica city limits, the correct responding agency would be the Santa Monica Police Department, not the LAPD. 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, in scenes from the film. 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.
46 of 84 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this