Cellular movie poster
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Cellular movie poster

Cellular Movie Review

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Cell phones may be the bane of our existence, but for Kim Basinger and the audience watching her new movie, they are a godsend. After getting kidnapped, she connects to a random stranger on a cell phone and we get drawn into a surprisingly good action thriller.

Cellular stars Basinger as a high school teacher named Jessica Martin who is kidnapped and held hostage for unknown reasons. Though the phone in the attic where she is being held is shattered, she manages to connect through to a random number - specifically the cell phone of a young, carefree guy by the name of Ryan (Chris Evans, who will be The Human Torch in next year's The Fantastic Four). He soon comes to believe her cries for help and is forced to defy the law in order to save her, which arouses the attention of Officer Mooney (William H. Macy). As Ryan races to save Jessica and her family, her captor (Jason Statham) edges closer and closer to getting what he wants and finishing them all once and for all.

The amazing thing about Cellular is that it truly defies expectations. The previews were decent, offering up some tense moments while never really engaging the audience. I was looking forward to the movie, but, admittedly, was not expecting a whole lot other than an entertaining B-grade movie. Cellular is, by most aspects, a B-thriller, but it is a very, very good one, with lots of exciting action, suspense and even a few laughs.

Director David R. Ellis is the only pitfall of the movie, as his choice of style for Cellular is questionable at best. The movie could really have been something (including a box office draw) had it gone with an edgier and grittier look, but instead the film is a little too crisp and clean. Still, once the story gets going, the appearance of the film becomes a rather minor flaw.

Aside from that, the movie only struggles with a few other small lapses. There are a couple things that do not make complete sense, several scenes where Ryan can hear everything a little too well through his phone (especially in one shot where the director forgot to have Evans hold the phone up to his ear) and a few moments where you wonder why Basinger is spending so much time on the phone when she should be trying to break one of the windows and climb onto the roof. Still, in the long run, everything gels together pretty well and the end result is a tense, thrilling joyride.

Cellular has all the makings of a great thriller, though what would have bridged the gap to excellence would have been a grittier style. Nonetheless, it is exciting, entertaining and very satisfying while remaining fairly lighthearted in its approach. Cellular is definitely worth the minutes.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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