The Flick Chicks

Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

Cellular

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Judy Thorburn

Cellular

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Flick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil

"CELLULAR" - SUFFERS FROM INTERFERENCE

Last year Colin Ferrell starred in “Phone Booth”, which was a tense thriller about a guy who was targeted for death if he left a Manhattan phone booth.  In a similar vein were the Speed movies, which placed innocent victims on a bus or boat in a frantic race against time to stop a would be killer.  Well, both these movies have a lot in common with Cellular.  Just make the basic element a cell phone, and you’ve got the picture.

In this scenario Kim Basinger plays Jessica Martin, a science teacher, wife and mother who gets kidnapped by a bunch of bad guys that break into her beautiful Brentwood mansion and kill the housekeeper.  After taking her to an undisclosed location and being locked in the attic, she manages to connect the wires of a smashed wall phone to make an outside call for help.  Jessica randomly reaches Ryan (Chris Evans, A Perfect Score) a young hunky beach bum, on his cell phone, who takes a bit of convincing that she isn’t a prank call or just a loony, in order to get him to go to a police station for some help. But, when the cop at the front desk, Sgt. Mooney (William H. Macy, The Cooler), is diverted by a riot that breaks out in the lobby, the plot turns to Ryan becoming the only means of saving Jessica’s life.

From there on the bar is raised and the action is pumped up.  Keeping the cell phone close to his ear, Ryan overhears the threats to Jessica’s life and family, and must try to keep one step ahead of the thugs, led by nasty Ethan (Jason Statham) all the while hoping not to lose the connection or having the battery die. This means racing to thwart the kidnapping of Jessica’s son Ricky (Adam Taylor Gordon) as he gets out of school or making it to the airport to find Jessica’s husband, Craig (Richard Burgi) in the nick of time before the bad guys reach him first.  Ryan finds himself using whatever means he has to even if he has to break the law.  Whether it is hijacking a school security car, or stealing an $80K porches convertible, with the license plate WLSU U2, from an L.A. lawyer at gunpoint, he’s up to the task.  Some of the more high-powered action includes driving against traffic and creating a multi car collision on the freeway, explosions, and using his gun in a customer packed Cellular store in order to get service for a charger for his cell phone that was going dead.

Basinger does the best she can with the role of fearful woman in jeopardy who, when she isn’t shaking, screaming or crying, manages to stay focused when talking with the guy who is her only chance of survival.  Chris Evans is lightweight, but capable as the irresponsible ex-boyfriend to Chloe (Jessica Biel), an ordinary slacker put into extraordinary circumstances and becoming the unlikely hero.  Lucky for him, his role encompasses lot of tongue and cheek humor to make up for his lack of depth. But, the fact that there are so many silly jokes and stupid humor is one of the main problems with this film. The comedy factor interrupts the suspenseful flow not only interferes, it detracts from the serious tone.

As it is, the always-good William H. Macy, is relegated to having his cop being the brunt of a running gag.  After being on the force twenty-seven years Sgt. Mooney, wants to open a day spa, but everyone insists on calling it a “beauty parlor” to his dismay. One time it may be funny. But, after being repeated numerous times, it was tiresome.

Using Cellular technology as the central focal point of the story is no surprise, since it was inevitable in this high tech day and age. But, it takes a somewhat believable premise to run with the idea.  There are too many obvious plot holes, contrivances and coincidences to make the grade. For one thing, I couldn’t get it out of my head why Ryan didn’t try to find another cop after he left the police station.

At one point, as Ryan is racing through heavy traffic he yells at another driver to get off her cell phone and pay attention to the road.  How ironic was that? Yet it got me thinking, maybe this is something the filmmakers should take a cue from - that is, if they get the connection.