I’m pretty easy to please when it comes to thrillers, (I gave five stars to Panic Room, for heaven’s sake) so it may surprise some hooplarians to find that I didn’t really enjoy Cellular.

I had good reason to not enjoy this film, however. Within the first twenty minutes there were several gaping holes in the plot. Now, my suspension of disbelief can hold up pretty well (and I have it regularly serviced) however with Cellular I had to contend with huge plot hole-potholes straight away. Flaws in logic or reason are fine later on in a film providing that the audience are invested in the characters and the story – if the film has done its job well then they won’t call the writers’ bluff. But the worst part about Cellular’s plot holes was that almost anyone could have written their way around them.

CellularWhether it was through ineptitude or laziness, the script was severely lacking. There were some genuinely funny moments, but I was too pissed off about the stupidity of the script that I couldn’t really enjoy the rest of the movie. Plus there were many failed attempts at humour, which seem to counteract those few admirable instances. The cast often had to deal with clumsy and (in the case of William H. Macy) embarrassing lines. Jason Statham plays Jason Statham again, which is interesting since it doesn’t seem to matter whether he’s the bad guy or the good guy, it’s all the same to him. Kim Basinger seems to be acting in another film altogether, going hell for leather in what is essentially a B-grade thriller. Also, she’s so thin now that her elbows are looking kinda lethal.

The actors that do shine in this film are the bit players. The (comparative) unknowns that fill the screen for no more than five minutes do a superb job – particularly the Porsche owner. And speaking of cars it’s curious to note that apparently any American film can successfully pull of a car chase. Has anyone else ever noticed that it doesn’t seem to matter how low the budget or how inappropriate the scene, car chases always look great in US movies.

The concept is just too damn flimsy. Where Phone Booth (and Liberty Stands Still and even Scream) made good use of the telephone, Cellular seems to ignore the fact that we all own mobiles, and thus know a thing or two about how they work and what they can and can’t do.

I’d say wait for DVD, but I don’t think Cellular is even worth it. Instead, wait for a better film.

Rating: 1.5 stars
Review by Stuart Wilson, 7th March 2005
Hoopla Factor: 2.0 stars

Constantine Friday Night Lights