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Cellular is a film which was released in 2004 it is classed as a Thriller and stars Kim Basinger, Chris Evans - no not the one who married Billy Piper the one who was in Fantastic Four (Johnny Storm / Human Torch and Jason Statham to name but a few. The film is written by Larry Cohen who also wrote Phone Booth another phone related movie I also enjoy. It is directed by Joel Schumacher and produced by Gil Netter and David Zucker the film is distributed by 20th Century Fox.
Kim Basinger plays a women Jessica Martin who is kidnapped from her own home and taken to an unknown location where she is held hostage the gang are after information and threaten to harm her family including her young son and husband if she does not help them. At the beginning of the family one of the gang members smashes a phone in the room where Jessica is held and then leaves the room. Luckily for Jessica she is able to tap wires together and fix the phone - not likely to happen in real life but still we would have no film if it didn't happen. Anyway the phone whilst working does not allow her to dial a number it does however connect to a mobile phone or cellular as known in America hence the film name the Cellular in question is answered by Ryan (played by Chris Evans) who to start with thinks it is a joke but soon realises it is not a joke and here is where the film takes off. The film follows Ryan as he tries to save Jessica and her family.
This film is one I really enjoyed I did not expect much from it but it had me hooked from the start. The pace of the film is fast moving and has you on the edge of your seat for the whole 94 minutes, as you will Ryan to make it in time to save Jessica and her family. The film at no point has you thinking hurry up I am board now. The acting is believable and the story is something different to other films I have previously seen. I would definatley recommend Cellular if you enjoy a good Thriller or action film. It is available to buy online for as little as £3 depending on where you buy it from 5 stars from me.
Whilst I have been off work I have been recording movies on the TV and making my way slowly through them and Cellular was on the other evening and I thought I would record it to watch on a cold saturday afternoon to save us going out!
With big names like Jason Statham, Kim Basinger and Jessica Biel I was expecting it to be at least watchable!
The film begins mother Jessica Martin walking her son Ricky Martin (yes the pun is also brought up in the film) to the school bus where it is loosely mentioned that Jessica is a science teacher, she then returns to the house where within moments she is kidnapped by Statham and his gang and taken to a remote house and kept locked away in an attic room but she has no idea as to the reason why. The room is empty and all she has for company is an old fashioned telephone which is broken into pieces, how convenient!
Although the phone is broken she can hear a dial tone and spends her time trying to connect and make a call.
Whilst all this is taking place we are introduced to Ryan who is desperate to get back with his ex girlfriend who seems to be having none of it. As he is driving his car he receives an incoming call from Jessica who has managed to dial through to him by connecting the wires in the phone. Ryan doesn't believe that Jessica has been kidnapped as it is all a bit of a surreal scenario and I myself found it unbelievable that someone could connect a phone and randomly get hold of someone on their cell phone in such a close proximity.....hmmmm
Anyway Ryan does not believe Jessica and disconnects the call to accept a call from his best friend, they have a conversation and then Jessica calls him back and explains how selfish he is for not even taking 10 minutes to take the phone to the police station to help her. Ryan begins to get a guilty conscience and heads to the local police station and hands the phone over to a policeman where she gives her address and name for him to look into, all hell then breaks loose in the police station and Ryan is told to take the phone up to the first floor and hand it over for investigation but as he begins to make his way up there the phone begins to loose signal and Ryan is aware if he looses signal then he looses contact with Jessica and all her hopes disappear of getting help.
Ryan is played by Chris Evans who I have not seen play any other characters and is not a well known actor but he plays his role quite convincingly and is not an actor that makes you want to turn the sound down.
Kim Basinger plays Jessica Martin and she plays the part quite well considering all she has to do is speak to Ryan on the phone and tell him where to go and what to do to try and ensure her son is safe.
The film is relatively fast paced and its quite entertaining the storyline is a little unbelievable but all the same this is a watchable movie and I quite enjoyed watching it.
Towards the end of the film there is an unsuspecting twist and this for me was when it became interesting, the film tends to revolve around Jessica, Ryan and the kidnappers, Jessica's husband the main reason for the kidnap does not tend to make an appearance until halfway through and even then his acting skills leave a lot to be desired as he doesn't tend to have many lines either.
This is an ok film that was pretty easy to watch but didn't have me hanging off the edge of my seat.
I rented this from blockbuster as part of their 5 films for £5.00 promotion. Released in 2004 and directed by David R Ellis, Cellular promises to be an edge of your seat thriller but will it deliver?
Surfer dude Ryan is on his way to pick up flyers in order to prove he isn't a waste of space to ex girlfriend Chloe. On the way he receives a phone call from Jessica Martin, a woman he's never met claiming she has been kidnapped and is being held hostage in the attic of an unfamiliar house. The phone she is on has been smashed so if he hangs up she may not be able to contact anyone else.
Jessica manages to gain some sympathy for her character early on but her unwillingness to cooperate with her captors and generally annoying innocent woman routine is sometimes a little hard to swallow. Ryan comes across as a happy go lucky average 19 to 20 year old that can't stop his eyes from wandering. I think the film tries to make us see how much his personality has changed as he helps Jessica but it never quite manages to make us interested.
The plot is a little sketchy but the film manages to move along at a reasonable pace and holds your attention most of the time. After Ryan receives the phone call we realise that Jessica's captors are willing to go to any lengths to get the information they require and the action that ensues involves car chases, hold ups and shootouts. It does try to set up a bit of characterisation at the beginning with Ryan and his ex but it doesn't have anything to do with the remainder of the movie so it just gets forgotten.
It's set in Los Angeles with many of the action sequences taking place in familiar locations such as LAX and Santa Monica pier. The film manages to show off the sun drenched streets and lovely beaches in between the action which is pretty to see but nothing to do with the film.
I'm not sure if it was intentional but the film contains some good comedy moments, these are mainly provided by Ryan especially the scene where he meets a poncy Porsche driver. These add some lighter moments to the mainly serious story.
Kim Basinger is acceptable as Jessica, she manages to put across her characters desperation but at times I found her a bit weak especially in the beginning before the kidnapping. Ryan was played by Chris Evans and he manages to make his character appealing and believable even when he is ogling over women you just see him as an average boy who can't keep his eyes facing forward.
William H Macy is fantastic, bringing life to policeman Mooney. He manages to give his character an effortless grace that's a pleasure to watch. Jason Statham plays his normal tough guy role as head of the gang who kidnaps Martin. As usual he manages to give his character a kind of dumb macho man feeling without much effort.
This is by no means a fantastic crime thriller, its entertaining whilst it lasts and forgettable when it ends. It is currently available on Amazon for £4.97 but I'm not sure it warrants repeated viewings so if you want to see it I'd recommend renting.
Last night, in the midst of my boredom and whilst furiously wearing out the remote control trying to find something half decent I came across 'Cellular'. Having never watched it before, I thought I would give a go as I caught it right at the beginning, and am quite a fan of other Jason Statham movies. Needless to say I was not disappointed with my choice of TV viewing.
The plot begins with Jessica Martin (Kim Basinger) being kidnapped from her family home by a mysterious man named Greer (Jason Statham) and his gang. Greer locks Jessica away in an attic and before leaving smashes the phone to smitherines with a sledge hammer. After hours of crossing wires and tapping on plastic Jessica manages to get a dial tone, and then eventually connects to Ryan's phone. Ryan (Chris Evans), a young surfer, obviously starts by thinking this is a prank, but once he overhears Greer assaulting Jessica, everything turns serious. Pretty soon begins a race against time for Ryan to help in saving Jessica and her family.
***The Line Up***
Jessica Martin................................................Kim Basinger
Mooney..........................................................William H Macy
I really enjoyed this film, the storyline wasnt too far fetched other than being able to dial out on a practically non exisent phone and managing to get hold of someone that lived local. But I think these were good factors for the film, it didn't ruin it. And I'm not sure that if someone in say China had recieved the call of distress the fill would have had as much impact. I thought the plot line however was really good, it was kept pretty simple which I liked, it didn't get too confusing and made for easy viewing.
The cast was also well suited to the film, the witty remarks from Ryan added a little comedy value to an otherwise serious movie. Kim Basinger played the helpless hostage extremely well. And Jason Statham ever the tough and mean type.
It is a film I would watch again and enjoy watching more than once. It was successful in keeping me interested through out.
I thought it may be funny to add a couple of the goofs that have been noticed in 'Cellular'.
When Jessica Martins husband Craig (played by Richard Burgi) is brought to the attic where she is held, you can clearly hear her shout "Richard". Ooops, this is his real name rather than his character. Maybe it was the shock of being kidnapped??
Also, when Ryan is in the boathouse straight after jumping off the pier he does not appear to be wet. Hmmmmmm, dry water maybe???
Release Date: 24 th September 2004.
Runtime : 94 mins
After dropping her son off for the school run, Scientist Jessica returns home to find her home being invaded, her maid murdered and herself being whisked off to an attic miles away from anywhere by a group of violent criminals. With no apparent reason for kidnapping her, Jessica thinks that it must be a mistake. Little does she know, the kidnappers are after something that belongs to her husband. Once locked up in the attic, and at the mercy of her kidnappers, Jessica discovers an old phone in the attic of the house. Her ploy to make contact with the outside world is quickly dashed though when her captor Ethan promptly smashes the phone to bits.
With a few hours to while away and the fear that her son is in danger, Jessica sets about trying to get a dialing tone on whats left of the contraption. When she finally gets through to someone, it happens to be irresponsible beach bum Ryan, who at first is reluctant to help, but soon finds himself embroiled in the mystery. Unbeknown to Jessica, what the criminals are after is a video tape that her husband has filmed which will implicate them in a serious crime. As time runs out for both the criminals and Jessica, they get more and more desperate putting Jessica's son and Ryan in even more danger.
Cellular is one of those films that must have seemed incredibly clever on paper, but put behind the camera, the obvious flaws come to light. Its Hollywood popcorn nonsense at its very best. Kim Basinger is cast in the role of Jessica, and despite spending the entire film in the attic, she is on marvellous form. For me, she is a hit and miss actress who is sometimes watchable and other times completely unbelievable. However, as she gets older, she is coming into her own, and here she is far better than the material she is working with.
Chris Evans is eye candy, nothing more nothing less. His performance serves only to set him up as a bumbling chancer who just happens to get dragged into something that is, frankly, too big for him. The show belongs to Jason Statham though. I cant imagine him doing anything serious, or sensitive, but cast as the rough bad guy, the only flaw is his sometimes shaky accent. Thankfully, he says very little, but flexes his muscles and hams it up brilliantly as the bad guy who will do anything to get what he wants.
It has become the norm in Hollywood to rely on modern communication devices as the gimmick to the plot, and Cellular uses the trust telephone to great effect. None of it is terribly believable though. What would you do if some woman phoned you and screamed that she was being held hostage, you would think it was some daft drunk mate taking the rip, and hang up. Here, we have to accept it all at face value that somebody would actually be concerned enough to stay on the phone, and actually go all across the city in order to help this stranger.
David R Ellis delivers the sharp action with style. Probably aware that his characters aren't the most rounded on screen, and that the script itself is in some places daft and predictable, he turns his hand to making a film that looks superb and has a great attention to detail. The action in the attic is just as tense as anything else on screen, despite being limited to a confined space, but its the gripping finale that is the ultimate payoff for the audience's somewhat limited buy in. There are also some twists and turns that aren't really that effective and in the end are so predictable that you just shrug and it really makes no difference to the outcome.
The main cast consists of:
Kim Basinger as Jessica
Chris Evans as Ryan
William H Macy as Bob
Jason Statham as Ethan
Noah Emmerich as Jack
Eric Etebari as Dimitri
Jessica Biel as Chloe
Adam Taylor Gordon as Ricky
This review was of the movie only as I borrowed it from a mate, and didn't actually have time to go through the extra's. The film is available on DVD though, and can be bought from amazon or any other retailer.
note: also appears in part on Flixster and The Student Room
Cellular has just the right team behind it to make it an enjoyable B-movie. Its director, David R. Ellis, directed two other rousing B-grade pictures: Snakes on a Plane and Final Destination 2. Also, the film was co-written by Larry Cohen, and J. Mackye Gruber, who worked on the excellent Phone Booth. Cellular isn't as great as any of those films, but it knows what it is, and what it lacks in inventive narrative, it makes up for with its sheer freneticism.
The film revolves around Jessica Martin (Kim Basinger), a woman who is kidnapped for no apparent reason and taken to the bad guy's dingy loft. Here her phone is mostly destroyed, but she manages to mess with the wiring enough to manage a random phone connection, calling Ryan (Chris Evans), a young man who initially believes it to be a prank but becomes more and more convinced that it is real, ensuring her that he will help get her to safety. The film also features William H. Macy as an originally skeptical cop who then tries to help them both out of this impossible situation, while a man of few words (Jason Statham) attempts to finish them both off.
Cellular just about manages to slink away from being a cliche action thriller and is actually quite a fun film that fits the bill as a thrilling B-movie actioner. While nothing in particular is outstanding, one cannot fault the frenetic energy of the film, and Evans pulls off a palatable performance, as do Basinger and Statham (in a role that helped him become the action star he is today).
Jessica Martin (Kim Basinger) is a wife and mother in suburban California, who comes home from dropping her son at school to discover her housekeeper murdered in the kitchen. All of a sudden a gang of thugs appear, kidnap her and take her to a house in the middle of nowhere where's she imprisoned in the attic. She has no idea why this has happened to her. The phone in the attic has been smashed but she manages to piece it together, tap some leads together and get through to a young guy - Ryan - played by Chris Evans. Ryan doesn't understand what she is on about until he hears her screams when the thugs enter the room again, and he is then determined to help her, and it's a race against time as he tries to save her, her son and her husband. But the real question of the whole film is, why have they kidnapped her? Which isn't answered til about half an hour from the end of the film.
An action movie that while is fairly fast paced, lacks some great performances. Chris Evans as Ryan is great - he is well cast and definitely an action star in the making. Some people have even compared him to Tom Cruise in his action heyday. Jason Statham plays the leading bad guy (for a change) and yes, his acting is not exactly up to much as usual. He's passable in this role but by no means all that convincing. Kim Basinger spends most of the film crying and feeling sorry for herself, which she does partly well, but there are a few scenes where she is so over the top that she just isn't believable at all. You find yourself cringing in some places. William H Macy however as the cop who pieces it all together is brilliant as usual - I don't think this guy has ever given a bad performance. He's solid and dependable both as an actor and in this character. And he brings some humour to the role too with his own little storyline about starting up a beauty spa with his wife.
There are some parts of this film that are quite tense, usually involving Chris Evans when he gives chase or is running away (scenes at the pier are great). But the whole film is based on the phone call between Jessica and Ryan - and if the signal goes she is going to die, which gets a bit old after a while. It is a good idea to start with but it is a rather fragile thing to base a whole storyline on. The film runs along at a nice pace, an at hour and a half long it isn't particularly long or taxing on the brain and there are some good car chases and shots of LA. There's no romance here really (not that's part of the main storyline anyway) and it's definitely more of a boys action film (although having Chris Evans as the lead is a hook for the girls).
It's a storyline that hasn't been done before (with the phone element) which at least makes it new and fresh and it's very entertaining - held together by William H Macy and Chris Evans throughout. The last half an hour is definitely the best and where most of the action lies. Worth a look.
A woman is kidnapped and her only hope is a broken phone that can only connect to one number, Ryan (Chris Evans). At first Ryan believes her frightened pleas to be a hoax. Sadly, when he finally begins to believe he tries to tell the police but they are not so believing. So with little choice and a heavy conscience, Ryan alone must somehow help her. However, as a surfer-dude, he is sorely unprepared for this task and his valiant attempts to help result in the police thinking he is some sort of criminal.
I have to admit; if this film didn't have Chris Evans in it I may not have initially been so interested. But really, it is an example of yet another great fast paced action movie that does not get the credit deserved.
Although the plot may be predictable at times and the script isn't really scintillating, Chris Evans does an impressive job at playing a normal guy who is desperate to help and so becomes a rather cool and courageous character.
Watch it for the funnies and the action, don't take it too seriously and I guarantee you will enjoy it.
- Cast & Crew -
- Plot -
Cellular tells the story of Jessica Martin, a wife and mother who witnesses the murder of her housemaid and is suddenly imprisoned in her own home by thugs, who lock her in the attic. She uses many different parts and shards of a smashed cell phone to get a signal and is eventually able to phone through to the cell phone of a teenage boy by the name of Ryan, to ask for help. At first he is pretty sceptical but as the call becomes more sinister with Jessica sounding more and more terrified, as she realises the thugs are going to target her only child, Ricky and her husband, Ryan becomes more involved and vows to help out. However, if he loses the signal on his phone, she may not be able to get another signal, so he must keep the battery life and signal going, or Jessicas family might not make it.
Who are these thugs and what do they want? and moreso, will Jessica manage to save herself and her family? Will Ryan be able to help and will the signal die, or will Jessica? you'll have to watch the movie to find out.
- Genre/Type of Movie -
I would classify this as an action thriller, with some suspense thrown in too. There is also a little bit of comedy/humour with the cop played by William H. Macy, who has to suddenly leave the health spa he visited with his wife, after spotting the news, which leads to a bit of funny dialogue.
- Thoughts & Opinions -
In this movie, its the unlikely, slacker teen who becomes saddled with rescuing the 'damsel in distress' who's trapped in her attic.
It is quite a tense action/thriller with some particularly good car chase scenes (I love a good car chase scene) and it hots up after the hour mark, with Ryan catching up with the bad guys. Its the whole stereotype of the helpless blonde weepy woman depending on a young man to be her hero and to save her, ugh, that did seem pretty cheesy and sexist in a way. I kept thinking surely she could find a way out of there or do something more to get out, although, story wise, I thought it was quite good with the whole idea about it all depending on him keeping the phone call going, the call being the only means of contact, that I thought was an interesting idea, that hasn't been done all that much in movies, that im aware of anyway.
This is a film im sure guys will enjoy, possibly to the annoyance of their girlfriends if such kind of stereotypes or somewhat formulaic movies irk them.
It isn't a particularly long movie, at just over an hour and a half, which is good in a way as it doesn't drag too much, especially once the first hour is over and it becomes quite action packed, it doesn't drag on for too long, like some such movies can.
Knowing that Jason Statham is in this movie should be clue enough, I suppose, as to what its like and that its quite a male oriented action film.
I wasn't sure whether to give this a 3 or 4 star rating at first, but I think as such a movie, it is quite good, its pretty thrilling at times and has some good car chase scenes and it is quite entertaining, so in that respect it is a good movie, hence my rating.
- Would I Recommend It? -
Yes I would recommend this. Its been shown on Film 4 (I taped it from that channel) and hopefully they'll repeat it again, so you may be able to see it for free and for free, its certainly worth watching. It may be a little cheesy or sexist in a way but as an action film, it is quite exciting and so I think it is worth seeing. I don't know that I'd say its worth paying a great deal for on DVD but if you can rent it or catch it on TV for free, then I would recommend it, for the car chase scenes and the fact that it does hot up towards the end. Oh and there is a little bit of comedy/humour with the cop played by William H. Macy and what happens with him visiting a health spa and then spotting on TV what has happened, that was quite amusing.
I hope you found this review helpful, thanks for reading and thanks for all r/r/c's.
Also please be aware that this review, as about all my reviews will be, is also posted on Ciao UK under my username there, which is the same name, IzzyS.
A woman has been kidnapped and is locked away somewhere, after a while she manages to dial a number on her phone in the room and successfully manages to dial the number of a young surfer who at first does not believe her but after a while he believes her. He tries to help her but in the process gets in trouble with the cops because of dangerous behavior.
I saw this being advertised on tel and had to watch it because it looked like a really action packed movie, i began to watch it and was absolutely blown away by the storyline and the special affects. The actors do a great job especially Jason Statham who was made to play bad guy Ethan, his job is to acquire the women and her family (son and husband).
A great movie to watch on telly and will keep you on the edge of your seats the whole way through and is an unmissable experience.
Thank you and please read my other review at mehmoou1001.
Ryan is desperate to win his old girlfriend back; so desperate that he is willing to run around town picking up t-shirts and flyers for her new campaign to stop pollution on the beach where they live. Whilst driving to the depot he gets a random phone call from a hysterical woman who claims to have been kidnapped by a group of thugs. She frantically explains to him that her only form of communication is this call as she is wiring a broken phone which cannot make any other connection. He is too busy and sceptical to believe her until he overhears her being brutally attacked on the other end of his mobile. So begins a cat and mouse game of fights and intrigue as Ryan desperately tries to outwit the thugs and save the suburban housewife. But is all as it seems?
Sometimes it is necessary to switch off your brain, leave your wits at the door and lounge on the sofa with nothing in the world to challenge your brain cells. For these occasions there is nothing better than a trashy Hollywood action movie (or one of the home shopping channels, but that can get expensive!) So it was with this need that I sat down to watch Cellular; a flashy, action packed, hyper unrealistic techno thriller and I have to say it fulfilled the job quite nicely. It's all pretty routine cat and mouse stuff but it's directed with zest , filled with energy and helped along by some accomplished performances and a few well crafted twists. The pacing is fast enough to stop you from examining the countless plot holes and it's injected with a huge amount of fun. Granted when it tries to be serious the implausibility's start to surface and some plot points seem to come from nowhere (with more than a few leaps in logic) - but for a big budgeted, little brained piece of movie fluff it is very solid, extremely entertaining and just clever enough to warrant crashing out in front of the television.
Indeed the most surprising thing about Cellular is just how entertaining it is - what is essentially a one trick pony (with little deviation from the opening premise)keeps you very gripped to the end and the action scenes are a genuine buzz thanks to nifty pacing and great stunt work. There is never a moment to get bored and the stakes are high enough, and the characterisation good enough, to create genuine tension throughout. A lot happens, yet the director manages to stop the thing feeling cluttered with a very streamlined running time and pace and the script, rather surprisingly, has some good moments of wit and imagination. It all crescendos to a satisfyingly frantic finale which bookends the film with at least a little bit of style and the thing is nicely acted by all involved (except maybe Kim Basinger, but we'll get to that later). It has enough smarts to pull the dumb bits through and it does itself a big favour in throwing away all reality or logic; the fact that it leaps into fantasy means that the screenplay can go anywhere it wants and definitely does, with car hijacking, gun battles, fist fights and techno babble galore. It also has its moments of Hitchcockian suspense which offer a nice change of pace every now and then and serve as a pretty successful comparison to the more straight forward crash-and-burn action.
However, all is not perfect with Cellular - there are many leaps in logic which are just too great to let slide by (and they do, eventually, detract from the overall enjoyment of the piece), there are a few completely redundant sub-plots, minor characters change identities without any real explanations and Kim Basinger's character is too annoying to truly care about. Plus, I suppose inevitably thanks to the films premise, the film starts to feel like a really extended mobile phone commercial - with countless close-ups of Ryan's headset and chunks of dialogue dedicated to it. Whilst the ending is enjoyable enough it loses steam after a while and the main bad-guy, who is quite a good character throughout, sort of pales into the background as the closing credits come nearer. William H. Macy is stuck with a pretty redundant character who has a truly bizarre back-story which involves him opening a day-spa and is given almost superhuman fighting powers (seeing William H. Macy fighting is pretty hilarious though) and there are moments when the screenplay pushes the realms of reality just a little too far.
Chris Evans proves to be a fairly likeable action star and he adds a lot of humour to the proceedings, showing at least some comedic skill. He isn't really required to do that much but he makes the most of his character with confidence and energy - he seems comfortable in front of the camera and is obviously capable of the action sequences. Apart from the bizarre shirtless scenes he does nothing offensively bad and brings realism to the role which is much, much needed. Kim Basinger on the other hand is pretty horrendous as the hostage housewife, I don't really know what she was trying to achieve with this performance, but I thinks it's fairly safe to say that she failed. She seems very self conscious throughout and her shrieky, irritating portrayal succeeds only in being annoying. She switches from hysterical to icy in mere seconds making her plight extremely unbelievable and she doesn't toe the line between frail and steely quite right making her seem almost Dr. Jackal and Hyde esque. Jason Statham does his usual hard-man thing, but is a genuinely threatening force in the pic, perfectly embodying the ruthless attacker with a roughness and energy that is very entertaining.
Cellular is surprisingly well directed, David. R Ellis keeps the thrills coming without letting the film go completely off the rails and his past experience with stunt work serves him very well in the brilliantly crafted car chases and fight sequences. He keeps things really zippy with a refreshingly short running time and allows the twists to come thick and fast without major melodrama and without signposting them from the beginning. He shows a lack of skill when trying to create true tension, relying on tried and tested sound effects and camera angles without truly ramping up the edge-of-your-seat suspense but he brings a brutality and vibrancy to the final sequences which really make them stand out. It's not violent enough to be shocking but there is a physicality supplied by all involved that keeps you hooked and there are some really nice uses of camera angles and overhead shots that keep the audience on their toes. There is also a nice sense of claustrophobia supplied during a lot of the hostage scenes but unfortunately the more open finale feels swamped with messy visuals and the constant zooming from one action sequence to another feels disorientating and gimmicky.
Cellular is an undoubtedly schlocky but entertaining bit of Hollywood fluff; filled with plot hole and excitement - it treads the line between absurd and thrilling very well and is helped by some great action/fight scenes. Kind of The Net for a new generation it revves along nicely to a neat and exciting finale and is filled with interesting twists and turns. Definitely worthy of a Saturday night rental, but not really a repeat viewer.
I quite like the odd action movie every now and then, so when I saw this movie being advertised on Easter Monday, I thought it would be worth a watch...that and the fact there was nothing else on the tele either! After reading a couple of reviews on here, I wasn't expecting too much from it, but if I'm honest, my partner and I were hooked and really enjoyed t!
Cellular starts with housewife Jessica Martin being kidnapped and held hostage by a group of men, but she doesn't know why. She is locked in a dark attic, with only a broken telephone. As you do, she decides to check the phone and she realises it has a dial tone so she sets about trying to make a call from it. She frantically tries to get hold of someone and eventually a young man, Ryan, answers. He of course thinks it is a bogus call until he hears her kidnappers threatening to hurt her again, and then realises he has to help Jessica. It's a race against time for Ryan to find Jessica and why these men are holding her hostage before something terrible happens to her and her family.
It doesn't sound like a plot which is going to be over-enthralling but it really was, once it got going that is. The film boasts quite a good cast, and that is what attracted me to the film more than anything else. Helpless housewife Jessica is played by Kim Basinger, who does quite well in a pretty limited role. Her role doesn't really involve much more than screaming and crying down a phone, and she did get on my nerves after a while. The other big name in the film is action-star Jason Statham, taking on the role of hard-faced kidnapper Ethan. His role is quite small up until the final part of the film, when he takes on his typical hard-man role and pulls off some great action scenes.
Chris Evans plays Ryan, the young man who answers the phone to a desperate Jessica. Evans was a relative newcomer to blockbusters before this movie, and I think he does a good job considering this is his first lead role. He plays the cocky party-boy well, and is believable but really comes into his own when he realises the reality of the situation, and he brings Ryan's character to life and keeps you gripped. The other main actor is William H Macy, an sweet cop, Sgt Mooney, who is getting ready to retire to run his day-spa when Ryan walks in with his phone and brings him back into action...
Obviously a lot of the action followed just one member of the cast and that was Ryan (Evans). His role was completely led by what Jessica was telling him, but still he kept the movie moving at a fantastic pace, and some of the scenes with him were great viewing. He doesn't meet much with most of the cast until later on in the film, so does well to hold it together with 90% of the scenes containing just him. The action was superb, from high-speed car chases, to battles at a building site and then fights at a fair-ground. It moves all over California, a bright and sunny city yet the film has a dark sinister side to it which really gives it a good edge.
Of course, you have to suspend reality for a while when you're watching this film. What are the chances a well-to-do American housewife would know the inner workings of a smashed phone, let alone be able to dial a number from it? And what are the chances she'd reach someone in the same area as her? Not to mention several phone-swapping scenes with Ryan, who keeps this woman on the phone through a multitude of fights, scraps and car chases. Oh, and of course the main one...why would you believe a woman on the phone who says she's been kidnapped? If it were me, I'd have hung up!
The movie didn't really slow down at any points after the initial introductions to the film and its characters. From the minute the phone between Ryan and Jessica connected, you were on a rollercoaster ride on the edge of your seat just waiting for the next big action scene. It was really enjoyable, and full credit has to go to Statham and Evans for their acting and watchability which for me kept the film going. Statham isn't as good as he is in The Transporter but still plays the nasty man scarily well! Another aspect of the film which kept me watching was the fact that the reason behind Jessica's kidnapping wasn't obvious at all - in fact it isn't revealed until 3/4 of the way through the film, so you're kept guessing as to why Jessica and her family are being targete.d.
Despite reviews to the contrary, I really did enjoy this movie. And despite the fact I had to convince him to watch it, my partner was completely absorbed by it and loved it as well. It is never going to be the best film ever, of course it isn't, but it's a good way to spend 90 minutes if you enjoy a good, fast-paced action movie with a few unbelievable bits thrown in here and there. A good solid cast with good performances, engaging action scenes and an interesting storyline. Oh, and I can't forget to mention the whole film is a pretty good advert for the Nokia 6600...plenty of advertising in here lol! Definitely worth a watch in my opinion - maybe I'm just easily pleased when it comes to movies though lol!
Released in 2004, with a certificate of 15 in the UK. Running time is 94 minutes. Written by Larry Cohen and Chris Morgan, Directed by David Ellis. You can buy the DVD from Play.com for £5.99.
Kim Basinger ... Jessica Martin
Jessica Biel ... Chloe
Richard Burgi ... Craig Martin
Chris Evans ... Ryan
Adam Taylor Gordon ... Ricky Martin
William H. Macy ... Sgt. Bob Mooney
Jason Statham ... Ethan
Thank you for reading!
When you look back at the appearances of technology in older movies you often find yourself laughing at how things were back then, or splitting sides at the way the director obviously thought technology would have advanced as they bring in whimsical products in black plastic exterior that you know will not be around for a long time to come -- and when they finally do get released they aren't going to look any bit less of a fashion accesory than an iPhone. 'Cellular' on the other hand is a movie that does not try be ahead of itself when it comes to technology, but it does try and make a mobile phone out to be the greatest advancement since we started experimenting with space travel. Whilst I understand not everyone has their own private spacecraft as most do with mobile phones, I do not need a movie to teach me how conveinent and reassuring it has to have a piece of communications equiptment in your hand, pocket or bag. If you hadn't of guessed, the 2004 release of 'Cellular' centres around a mobile phone -- a 'cell phone' -- but this is before the days of Apple realising they could give the public 'turn a product to the side and enter an alternate universe' range of pleasure. Instead, trusty Nokia are the star of 'Cellular'.
Jessica Martin (Kim Basinger) is happily walking her son to the school bus, discussing with him the benefits of her being a science teacher, and then after seeing her son off returns to her family home where glass smashes, the maid gets shot, and Jess finds herself thrown into her own 'soccermom' land rover and driven to a hidden location by the hostage takers. Jess cannot understand why something like this would be happening to her happily family unit, and the immediate impression is that this must be all something to do with her husband. Held in the attic, the two-dimensional kidnappers smash up the phone -- couldn't they have just held her in a room without a phone, like a more conventional basement? You think, "It's lucky she has her cellphone!" But Jess isn't the one with the phone, infact she uses her science degrees to help her repair the phone, proving to all the children watching this 15 age-certificate movie that it pays to listen next time you walk in a science lab. That is should you ever be taken hostage, because if Jess wasn't a very clever and independant woman, she would have even a lesser chance of getting out of this situation alive. All this is not to say that Baisnger plays the role well, as I came to find her incredibly standard looking in her sterotypical school teacher appearance, and even less of a standard when it came to her acting abilities of someone that was getting pushed around but obviously looking straight down the camera lense. Please, pick a convicing damsel in distress next time.
Ryan (Chris Evans) is no stranger to senseless movies, as I first came to know of him in 'Not Another Teen Movie' and had quickly came to forget what he even looked like. Apparently Evans has gone on to gain some more moderate success since this movie, making two appearances in the 'Fantastic Four' franchise. On the other hand, the Ryan we see in this movie is a more simple minded character that likes to walk around with his shirtoff with an oddball friend and is himself not yet willing to give up on a relationship with a female character that quite frankly never comes to matter, so I won't mention her name. Ryan's not afraid to look like a fool right infront of his ex-girlfriends mates, but what do you expect from someone as braindead and trusting as Ryan -- considering someone phones him up claiming to be kidnapped and the trusting boy spends his entire day running around trying to discover some full-blown conspiracy when he could be enjoying a day out in the sun, with his friends and reconnecting with the love of his life -- with his shirtoff again. What I thought would be the most interesting concept behind the movie is someone needing urgent assistance, dialing a random number and then having to convince the person they are telling the truth. Whilst it would be unfair to say Ryan is over-willing to believe what he is hearing isn't fabricated, I struggle to think what I would do if such a situation reared its ugly head to myself. Possibly let the police handle it, because as much fun as it was seeing Ryan attempt to be incredibly heroic, I couldn't help but spend most of the first half-hour of the movie reminscing on days when I had the Nokia 6600, constantly turning to my mother and saying, "I think I had that phone when I was 13.. maybe 14. No, definitly 13."
I would have to say that it would be off the mark to describe this as being a part of the thriller genre, because despite a fast-paced movie I was incredibly tempted to bail out of watching the whole thing early, the only thing keeping me watching was that I was seeing pound signs (literally). I can always understand when they have a lot of action and adventure, then decide to break up this down and again with the odd joke -- however 'Cellular' over stops this mark and becomes a fully blown comedy in my mind. Jess slaps a few wires together and manages to get through to Ryan, and when he takes the mobile phone to the polce station I thought we were going to be introduced to the usual bad cops that do not care about their job that we find in comedy movies. Sgt Bob Mooney (William Macy) appears that he will be more concerned with his budding beauty business than crime fighting, as he has all sorts of wild products delivered to his workplace. Mooney does however take note of what Ryan is saying, until a fight breaks out, and after losing Ryan he does begin to wonder what the outcome of the case was. You will hate these bad guys straight away, and they do themselves no favours when they bring Jess' son into the mix. Ricky Martin (Adam Gordon), the son, not the singer (yes that is just one of the many jokes) finds himself involved in the mess and will be another casualty unless his father gives him what these guys want, but even then there isn't much luck on them surviving. I wouldn't want to ruin for you what exactly has brought such bad fortune on this family, but that is one of the slightly interesting aspects of 'Cellular', for everything else I found to be predictable and irritating.
'Cellular' is in all truths, one of the worst movies I have ever sat through. I could not understand anyone believing that this is a good movie, when the movie doesn't even know whether it is mocking itself or trying to be serious. Basinger's awful whispering down the phone line is the pits of the acting in the movie, that tries some special effects as well, but whilst the premise of the movie may sound good -- once Jess has made contact with Ryan, there really is nothing left to the movie, not that there was anything before that point. This isn't an advert for just any mobile telehphone, this is a full-on commercial for all the features that phones could do about half a decade ago, including the use of video and loudspeaker. Considering this was also directed by the man behind 'Phone Booth', he did a much better job of keeping someone talking on a payphone than he did on a cellphone. "If the signal dies so does she," Well it's a darn pity that Ryan didn't hang up the minute she rang. I know I would have, bloomin' prank phone calls!
Director: David R. Ellis
Runtime: 94 mins Approx.
=== Disk 1: Main Feature ===
This film stars Kim Basinger, as high school teacher Jessica Martin, who has just been kidnapped for reasons she apparently doesn't understand, by man named Nathan (Jason Statham), and his gang of crooks. They take her to a unknown house and lcarry her upstairs into the attic, where Nathan, smashes a nearby phone using a large sledgeehammer, and then locks her in. After checking out of the window and having no idea where she is, she hears a dial tone from the previously wrecked phone, but the keypad is shattered, but worried about her safety, she taps away persistently with the wires, hoping that she makes a connection, after a lot of trying, she starts to finally call someone.
Enter Ryan (Chris Evans), a young man, trying to make his ex take him back by doing good deeds, while also showing off his new phone. When this phone starts to ring, he quickly answers it, and hears Jessica on the other side, Realising she hsa finally gotten through to someone, she quickly and quietly explains what has happened, and that she has been kidnapped by some strange men.
Naturally, he finds this hard to believe, and thinks it's just a practical joke, after nearly putting the phone down, Jessica convinces him to go find a cop, and give him the phone so she can explain to him. He agrees and sets of for the station.
We see Sgt. Bob Mooney (William H. Macey) arguing with someone down the telephone, about them sending the wrong order. We then hear a little about him soon retiring and opening a day spa, with his wife. The film goes back to Ryan, entering the police station and handing Sgt. Mooney the phone. He writes a few details down from Jessica, but a fight breaks out in the station, and he sends Ryan upstairs to the fourth floor, to speak to someone in a different department, so they cant help out. But while going up the stairs, Ryans phone signal is deteriorating, so he stops on the stairs and shouts for help, to which he gets no reply.
We then see Nathan enter the attic, and Jessica quickly hiding the phone under some blankets. Ryan can hear them shouting in the background, and Nathan threatening to kill her son if she doesn't tell him where 'it' is, and begins to no longer doubt what Jessica has been saying. After Nathan leaves, she gets back on the phone and tells Ryan to go get her son from school before the kidnappers get him.
From here-on-in, we experience a fast paced, tunnel avoiding ride with him trying to get her son out of school safely, and trying the get the 'thing' before the bad guys get it. Theres a bit of mystery in trying to find out what the 'it / thing' is, but nothing too serious that makes you have to think.
=== My Opinion. ===
There's lots of car speeding, car stealing, running and product placement in the film (Nokia 6600 anyone?). There's far fetched situations, including reversing in tunnels so that the signal isnt lost and the conversation isn't cancelled, although why this matters is beyond me, as later on in the film he calls her back anyway, probably by going onto the recieved calls lists on the mobile phone.
The performances are solid, there's nothing really wrong with them, and they all do their job well, but they don't seem really challenged in their roles. Jason Statham plays the hard guy as usual, which a pretty bad american accent thrown in, and Kim Basinger uses a little botox to make herself look a lot younger than 50. It's one of those movies where you can watch it without thinking, you can just switch off your mind and it will still be enjoyable. And the characters are a little sterotypical.
The films been given a 15 certificate, although there's no strong violence, and no sex scenes at all.
=== Conclusion ===
This film is available for £5.99 on play.com, but you can probably get it much cheaper from a place like eBay or Amazon Marketplace. But it's definetly worth a watch. I didn't see any of the extras, so I can't really rate my experience with them, hence this being a film only review.
(Also posted on Ciao)
saw this film promoted when I was in America on holiday in 2004. It appealed because Jason Statham was in it playing an all action bad guy, possibly not the most challenging role for him but one he does well. Plus Kim Basinger hadn't done anything high profile (apart from a supporting role in the Eminem movie '8 Mile') for a few years and she looked fantastic for 50 something. Anyway we didn't go and see it in the end and thus it has taken me a while to get around to watching it.
This is like 'Phone Booth' on the move. High School science teacher Jessica (Kim Basinger) is kidnapped from her home by a gang of men, for reasons she doesn't understand (or at least claims not to understand). Ethan (Jason Statham) leader of the gang locks her in the attic of the house they take her to and smashes the phone. Being a resourceful lass, Jessica detects a tone on the phone and although the keypad did not survive, she taps away persistently with the wires in the hope that she makes a connection. She ends up calling a young lad called Ryan, desperately trying to run errands to impress his ex-girlfriend. Ryan (Chris Evans - no, not that one) is naturally suspicious of some strange woman phoning him saying she has been kidnapped. Instead of disconnecting straight away he listens to what she has to say, and why she can't dial the police or hang up, and agrees to drive to the police station and hand the phone over.
The sweet and soon to retire cop, Sergeant Mooney (William H Macy) is slightly distracted by plans to open a day spa with his wife. He tries to help but a fight breaks out at the station and he sends Ryan upstairs to another department. Jessica's kidnappers return to her room and she hides the phone under her jacket, Ryan can hear them in the background threatening to kidnap and kill her son and no longer doubts her. However he is experiencing a low signal in the police station so leaves to try and beat the kidnappers to her son's school, rather than continuing and risking losing the connection. There begins a rollicking, fast-paced, tunnel-avoiding ride for the rest of the movie, and plenty of product placement for Nokia. For good measure there is even a little bit of mystery as to why Jessica and her family have been targeted, who these bad guys are and what they want, but nothing that will trouble you greatly.
The film asks you suspend your belief big time that Jessica with no keypad managed to dial a mobile of a lad who was not only also in California, but seemingly in the same area. Plus there are many far-fetched situations that Ryan gets himself to into to help Jessica, such as armed robbery, car-jacking and driving the wrong way down the freeway emerging unscathed through the multi-car pile-ups behind him. Saying that, I don't think the film intends to take itself seriously, just to entertain. Director David Ellis keeps his finger on the pulse of the action at all times and the pace of the movie does not flag. The performances of all the key characters are solid, but none of them are particularly challenged by their roles. I was pleasantly surprised how the 50-something Basinger managed to pull off a semi-action parts of the feisty Jessica with ease, maybe it was the Botox.
With a running time of little over an hour and a half this film will not inconvenience you greatly to watch. Characters are not deep, and sometimes slightly stereotypical (soon to retire cop anyone?) It is a very easy to watch film, it will not challenge or stimulate you as long as you can suspend your belief long enough to enjoy the ride.
This film has a 15 certificate; there is no sex and limited violence, certainly nothing gory.
I watched this film as part of my online DVD rental service. I don't think your DVD collection really needs this in it, but if you wish to buy it, currently the best deal online is £4.99 at HMV. I would suspect that this is also the type of film that ends up in the promo sections at your local High Street store. My rental copy contained no extras, and looking on various websites there doesn't seem to be many on the versions available to buy.