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Cellular

Genre: Drama/Action
Rated: PG-13
Directed by: DAVID R. ELLIS
Produced by: DOUGLAS CURTIS
Starring: KIM BASINGER, CHRIS EVANS, JASON STATHAM, WILLIAM H. MACY
Released by: New Line Cinema

In Short: Cellular opens excitedly and rouses its audience with action sequences, but fails on the whole as a lasting thriller we would care to take in again.

"Cellular" Misdials
Please Hang Up and Try Your Script Again
By Justin Buechel

In what has been popularly and inaccurately dubbed “Phone Booth 2,” Cellular takes us through the painstaking ordeal of housewife Jessica Martin (Kim Basinger) and her happenstance hero Ryan (Chris Evans). Running an errand to impress his ex-girlfriend (cameo by Jessica Biel), Ryan is incidentally dialed by a fumbling Jessica splicing together wires from the telephone smashed by Goon #1 (later identified as Greer, Jason Statham).

Though infeasible, the premise has potential, luring its audience with mistaken identity and extending the suspense (often beyond reason) via the feeble phone connection. Ryan’s seemingly endless trek across the city in pursuit of one goal after another feels like the plot to a single player video game, accompanied by comparably ineffective writing. When presented with a problematic situation, there is always an immediately available solution allowing Ryan to continue his quest.

The movie’s largest failing is its inability to capitalize on the immense talent of both Jason Statham and William H. Macy, who play limited roles not only in scope but visibility. Instead the focus is on Kim Basinger, a credible, Oscar-winning actress again largely wasted in her role of squealing, flailing, oblivious housewife. Statham’s role as a thug hardly stretches his potential, from what he’s demonstrated in Snatch and even The Italian Job. Macy is constrained in his speculating policeman role, eventually getting the hint that there is something dreadfully serious happening, which no one else notices.

Cellular does a good job opening excitably and rousing its audience with action sequences at varying points, but fails on the whole as a lasting thriller we would care to take in again.


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