Farrell has a routine that utilizes one of the last freestanding phonebooths in New York City to make the phone calls he doesn't want his wife to know about. Unfortunately for him, a high tech sniper with a penchant for morality judgements is all too familiar with Colin's life and activities and has chosen the phone booth as the place for Colin's redemption or death. For the bulk of the movie, Colin is trapped in the phone booth between the imposing forces of the New York City Police (who believe him to be the murderer of an abusive pimp); and the sniper that threatens to shoot him (as he did the pimp) should he attempt to leave the phone booth. The voice of the shooter does not belong to a lunatic that's merely looking to score an innocent victim or two. He's studied Colin, decided that he's unworthy of living his successful life and determined to reform him or remove him from life's mortal coil.
We see just enough of Colin's character in action during the first ten minutes or so to fully understand that this is one self-absorbed, manipuplative jerk of a human being. But that somewhat begs the question as to whether or not his misdeeds truly warrant the forfeiture of his life and/or the murder of two others. That's the ultimate weakness of a film that aspires to be a powerful psychodrama but only barely reaches the level of a brisk, lightweight thriller.
Forest Whitaker lends a powerful presence as the police captain that tries to talk Colin out of the booth. But his talents are underutilized by a script that gives any worthy dialogue to Sutherland's malevolent voice of persecution.
The filmmakers at least make an attempt to answer the obvious questions like why is an old-fashioned phone booth still standing on an NYC street, and why can't Colin use his cell phone to call get help or explain his predicament to the police. But in the end, questions remain, like why target a philandering publicist, when there are plenty of other evil types that are more deserving of a bullet to the head? So just forget the serious morality and grab a bucket of popcorn. There are worse ways to spend 88 minutes on the couch.
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