Cellular Review

This is one of those films with some fairly big names but I can’t remember ever seeing it anywhere. So it’s fairly obscure and I’d say the film turned out to be good. I’m not calling it great or anything but it was better than I expected. There’s a lot going on in here and it keeps this from just being another film about finding someone who’s being held captive.

The movie starts with Jessica getting kidnapped by a group of thugs led by Ethan. They want some kind of information in connection with her husband but she has no idea what they are even talking about. Fortunately while they may have broken the phone, she is able to repair the shards of it just enough to make calls. She brushes the cords together enough times until she is able to reach a guy called Ryan. He’s not really in the mood for any of this and figures it could be a trick either way. Still, he decides to humor her and eventually hears enough where he knows that this is real. It’s going to be difficult to get anyone to believe him though so it’s a race against time now.

Right off the bat I do think the whole plot is a tad convenient with the broken phone still being able to make calls. I mean the whole wires thing was creative but still I’m a little dubious about that being enough to actually get to a phone nearby. That random element just felt like the odds were a little too low for success and the whole movie is build around that premise. Beyond that the rest is believable enough and turns into your classic thriller film.

Ethan makes for a fairly intense villain. We don’t know a whole lot about him but you know enough to tell that he is serious about his threats. When it comes time for a fight he’s also a lot more skilled than the heroes but this isn’t really a full action movie which is lucky for them. There are a few other villains but none of them are quite as important for the most part. They definitely don’t get the same amount of screen time at least.

Unfortunately Ryan isn’t a great main character. I don’t blame him for thinking this is a trick at first. That part’s believable enough as this whole scenario is hard to buy into but he’s just not a very nice guy. He’s trying to get back together with his ex but when she gives him a basic task to complete…he gives it to his friend? How would that help his relationship with the girl at all? I feel like that plot didn’t make much sense and just confirms her suspicions on him not being very mature. It’s no wonder that they weren’t together anymore.

I suppose part of the film’s goal is to show how he gets more mature throughout the film but considering how short the time frame is here it’s hard to really say that. Being in the middle of a very stressful situation isn’t a great way to really see development after all. As for Jessica, well there’s not a whole lot that she can do either way so I’d say she did well enough. It’s not like getting captured was her fault and she fights well in trying to get out. So all in all I would give her character a thumbs up.

Her husband Craig looks awful though. His role is small but he basically got her into this whole situation and is not a reliable guy. I’d argue that he didn’t think ahead at all and he should have been able to warn her ahead of time. I did like Officer Mooney though. He’s getting ready to retire but when this situation comes up he figures he can help out one last time. He goes above and beyond the call of duty in getting mixed up with this when he could have just walked out into retirement. I have to give him some solid credit for that. He is quick with the trigger and isn’t an easy mark for anyone.

It’s easy to say that he’s the best hero in the film. I dare say he would have held up way better than Ryan as the lead. His plot has some intrigue to it as things don’t line up with the cops and it adds an extra layer of mystery to the whole thing. Ryan doesn’t have as much time to really dwell on this since he’s always on the move while Mooney is able to put the pieces together. Chad is Ryan’s best friend but the guy has almost no purpose being in the film. I guess the film has him try to be funny but it doesn’t work. Then there’s the ex Chloe who probably should have held her ground in staying away from Ryan. It’s clear that this guy is trouble.

The movie does have some decent comedy scenes like when Ryan broke into the phone company and flashed his gun. After how he tried so many times to do things peacefully, it was a good way to end that. Then I also liked that lawyer that Ryan bumped into. The guy may have been a bit exaggerated in how standoffish he was, but it made for some great moments. I’m a bit mixed on how the cell signals could just cross like that but I’ll assume it’s possible. It definitely helped to increase the stakes as well as the issue of not dropping the signal or Ryan would have no way to contact the lady again. Above it all though, the lawyer was just really funny in all of his scenes.

In a lot of ways the film is very by the books. The gimmick is unique with the whole cell phone angle but beyond that there isn’t much that stands out. I would say the thriller elements are exciting enough where this is a good movie even if it’s not great. I didn’t have many issues with it at all. The heroes could be a bit on the annoying side without a doubt (Ryan executed his final plan horribly. If not for Mooney he would have been doomed. Maybe choosing the park where everyone knows him was a bad idea…) but the pacing was quick and so the film glides by. It doesn’t drag on and so there’s a good amount of replay value. I’d be able to rewatch this one fairly quick even though I just saw it.

Overall, If you’re looking for a fun thriller movie that you haven’t watched before then this is a good one to check out. It’s a fairly light adventure that doesn’t feel high budget or anything but it doesn’t make mistakes either. I feel like a good amount of effort was put into this one and I’d be cool with a sequel or another film using this gimmick. I think there’s a lot you could do with it but I would find some other way for the main character to be contacted. A broken phone just doesn’t make a lot of sense for me.

Overall 7/10


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