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Cellular
4 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
David Ellis

Written By:
Larry Cohen, Chris Morgan

Cast:
Caroline Aaron, Kim Basinger, Jessica Biel, Richard Burgi, Valerie Cruz, Eddie Driscoll, Noah Emmerich, John Ennis, Chris Evans, Willie Gault, Adam Taylor Gordon, Ernie Grunwald, Rick Hoffman, Lenore Kasdorf, Brendan Kelly, Mark Kubr, Adam Lieberman, William H. Macy, Matt McColm, Robert Shaye, Mircea Monroe, Rob Nagle, Eric Christian Olsen, Rachel Reynolds, Al Sapienza, Lorna Scott, Lin Shaye, Sean Smith, Jason Statham, Mary Castro, John Cenatiempo, Matt Clifford, Dean Devlin, Michael Kozak, Gino Montesinos, Alana Morshead, Peter Weireter, Sherri Shepherd, Chuck Kelley, Greg Collins, Bobb'e J. Thompson, Ron Roggé, John Churchill, Gina-Raye Carter, Garrett Dutton, Lauren Sanchez, Dat Phan, Eric Etebari, Brenda Ballard, Chase Bloch, Chelsea Bloch, Robin Brenner, Paige Cannon, Nikki Christian, Marco DiMaio, Tagert Ellis, Eric Etebari, Erin Foster, Noe Gonzalez, James Hinkle, Summer Hubbell, Robert Lawrence, Lexi Lieth, Kate London, Esther Mercado, Lara Romanoff, Paul Sunderland, Colby Greening, Andrew Michaelson, Gina Moore, Neal Orion, Brandon Osborne, Jenilee Reyes, Kid Richmond, Summer Still, Danielle Stratton, Scott Alan Taylor, Ken Weiner, Will Beinbrink, Chantille Boudousque, Ishtar Uhvana, Afsoun Yazdian, LynNita Puma

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Cellular (2004)
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Movie Review by Jarrod
March 25th, 2008

'Cellular' is a taut, fast-paced thriller, both smart and more or less plausible, despite the fact that its central premise is a gimmicky endorsement of cell phones, and how they might actually be able to save one's life. Jessica Martin (Kim Basinger) has been abducted by a group of mysterious men, who are trying to use her to get to her husband, Craig (Richard Burgi). They lock her in an attic, and one of them, named Ethan (Jason Statham) takes a sledgehammer to the phone that is conveniently located there.

Jessica rubs some wires together and gets the phone working again, strangely enough, and ends up dialing a random number, which puts her in contact with Ryan (Chris Evans), who at first doesn't believe her story. He offers to take his cell to the police station, where he hands it off to Mooney (William H Macy), who is in his last year of service and plans on retiring to start a day spa with his wife. A fight breaks out in the station lobby, and Ryan treks upstairs to the homicide department, and in the meantime overhears Ethan's conversation with a very scared and tearful Jessica, and suddenly he realizes she was not lying. This begins his frantic adventure to help Jessica, first by trying to rescue her son Ricky and then Craig, while dealing with a wide assortment of problems; a low battery that must be recharged, bad reception and weak signals, trying to find alternative methods of transportation as he hurries from one location to the next (he steals a Porsche from an obnoxious loudmouth lawyer, played by Rick Hoffman). Meanwhile, Mooney looks into the Martin case and begins to discover that something just isn't right. Statham and the others are all dirty LA cops, who have robbed and murdered two drug dealers; Craig accidentally captured this crime on his video camera, which he stashed in a safety deposit box. This is what they are after.

Kim Basinger doesn't do a whole lot as Jessica, except cry and scream, but she does prove resourceful, using for instance her knowledge as a science teacher to cut the brachial artery of one of her captors so he will bleed to death. It is Evans who is the real star, he is convincing and effective as the unlikely hero who finds himself in a dangerous and tense situation. Nothing superhuman is required of him; he is not invincible, and actually gets the crap beaten out of him by Statham, whose Ethan is a nasty piece of work, an amoral, conscienceless scoundrel. All Evans really does is run and drive fast, and is given some of the film's funnier lines and situations, like the absurdity of pulling out a gun in a cell phone shop simply to get a charger. But desperate times call for desperate measures as that old saying goes. William H Macy is wonderful as the honest cop Mooney, who is also not a man of outstanding agility or physical strength; he is good with a gun and that is basically it, but to see Macy in action scenes at all is a little weird. Only Statham possesses martial arts skills and a high tolerance to pain, but as the toughest and meanest of the villains, I suppose that should be expected. Noah Emmerich is Jack Tanner, one of Mooney's friends and colleagues, also shown on the tape, and sort of the ringleader of the whole thing, as he is presumably a high-ranking officer. Jessica Biel has a bit part as Chloe, Ryan's ex-girlfriend. Ryan is introduced to us walking around shirtless, to display Evans's chiseled physique, and cash in on his undeniable sex appeal. I don't think anyone would be disappointed by what they see. Great chase sequences abound, and even some spectacular shoot-outs; the movie itself is expertly edited by Eric Sears, and never slows down for a minute. I mentioned previously the plausibility of the plot, which is amazingly never compromised; under the circumstances we can believe that everything we see and everything the characters do is for the most part credible. All the various functions of a cell phone are exploited here in inventive ways by screenwriters Chris Morgan and Larry Cohe . Overall, this is an exciting and involving experience.

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