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When a Stranger Calls on the Cellphone...

  • Mar 4, 2006
  • by
If the movies Speed and Phone Booth had a baby, Cellular would be the offspring, and that's not a bad thing. From the moment sloucher Ryan (Chris Evans) answers his cell phone and hears a strange woman (Kim Basinger) on the other end of the line, the action flows fast and furious.

Basinger plays the part of Jessica Martin, a science teacher who lives in Brentwood with her young son and her realtor husband. Her day starts off normally enogh as she puts her little boy on the bus to school and returns to her house. Then a strange man breaks through the glass on her backdoor, kills the maid, and drags a kicking and screaming Basinger out the door. He takes her to an unknown location and locks her in an attic.

Basinger kicks and screams a lot in this movie, but she is also very resourceful. She manages to connect two wires on a broken phone and dials a random number, which just happens to belong to Ryan, who is on his way to Office Depot to pick up several boxes of t-shirts in an effort to prove to his ex-girlfriend that he has turned over a new leaf and has changed his slacker ways.

Once Jessica convinces Ryan that she is not a prank call, he forgets the t-shirts and throws himself wholeheartedly into trying to save the life of Jessica, her son and husband. The result is an exciting ride full of twists and turns- an unctious lawyer, an officious school security guard, and a bored police officer who is counting the days to his retirement when he and his girfriend can open their own day spa (one of William H. Macy's usual good performances.)

Just when it looks as though Ryan and Jessica are going to lose contact-- Ryan's battery runs low, he nearly loses the signal in a stairwell, he drops the cell phone from the roof of a tall building, Ryan comes up with a way to keep the contact going so he can continue to try to find where Jessica is being held.

The movie does require you to suspend belief as all kinds of improbably things happen and various obstacles are set up to prevent Ryan from just finding a cop and turning the cell phone, and Jessica, over to the police. However, if you just sit back and accept its premise, you are in for a wonderfully wild ride.

If you liked Speed and Phone Booth, then you will probably enjoy this movie. It won't leave a lasting imprint in your mind; after a few weeks (days?) it will fade into the background along with all of the other action flicks you've seen, but during the time you are watching it, you will have a great time.

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More Cellular (New Line Platinum Se... reviews
review by . November 23, 2006
Take the freakin call...    Cellular is truly a great movie that seemingly came and went on the market, leaving rechargable battery acid in the screens on which it played. I dig this movie. You could watch it with your brain behind your back and relax with your fingers all covered with drizzly popcorn butter... or you can have a genuinely smart romp through the land of suspense and cool.    The plot is fairly simple. A woman is kidnapped (Kim Basinger) by …
review by . October 21, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
Sometimes I watch a movie and it turns out to be far more entertaining than I thought it would be. Such is the case with CELLULAR. I had seen the ads for the film and even though it starred Kim Bassinger, I thought that the movie wasn't going to be entertaining at all. My brother had seen the movie when it came out in theatres and had enjoyed it immensely; he as especially intrigued by the "average citizen becoming a hero" angle. When I borrowed the movie from him to watch, I tried my best to put …
review by . February 14, 2005
CELLULAR is one of the best action movies of the past few years. Written by the creator of 'Phone Booth' Larry Cohen, this gripping thriller steps outside the phone booth and into the cyberspace of cellular telephones and in doing so replaces the claustrophobia of 'Phone Booth' with the cosmic angst of the individual connected to the outer world by the nebulously mysterious ether of wireless communication. Cohen's inventive story has been adapted for the screen by Chris Morgan who finesses Cohen's …
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Dindy Robinson ()
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Just when you think it's getting silly,Cellularserves up another tantalizing twist. In the time-honored tradition ofSorry, Wrong NumberandWait Until Dark, Kim Basinger is well-cast as a resourceful damsel-in-distress who thwarts her kidnappers by connecting with a n'er-do-well cell-phone user (Chris Evans, later seen inThe Fantastic Four) who races against time to rescue her from afar. One good cop (William H. Macy) assembles clues to uncover conspiracy, while first-time writer Chris Morgan and pulp-movie master Larry Cohen (who conceived the plot, similar to his ownPhone Boothscreenplay) serve up a consistently satisfying string of high-tension surprises. Jason Statham continues to prove his rising-star status as the film's tenacious villain, and director David Ellis (Final Destination 2) takes advantage of his experience as a veteran stunt coordinator and second-unit director, making good use of locations in his native Santa Monica, and wringing credible suspense from a deliriously far-fetched premise.--Jeff Shannon
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DVD Release Date: January 18, 2005
Runtime: 94 minutes
Studio: New Line Home Video

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