Reviews > Movies

Cellular

Movies | This film provides some enjoyably tense entertainment-at least for those with a high capacity for suspended disbelief

Issue: "Rathergate," Sept. 25, 2004

Cellular's script is ridiculously full of plot holes, inconsistencies, and outright nonsense. Example: Even if you've never visited Los Angeles International Airport, doesn't common sense suggest that a person can't just pull up to the curb in front of a terminal and find a place to park? Or who in his right mind sets a meeting point at an airport bar behind the security checkpoint, which everyone knows now requires a plane ticket to pass?

The only question, with a film like this, is whether it will move fast enough, and include enough twists, to keep audiences distracted from the story's implausibilities. Surprisingly, for the most part, Cellular does just that.

Cellular (rated PG-13 for violence, terror situations, language, and some sexual references) contains enough bad language to nearly merit an R rating. Aside from this (especially early sexual references), though, the film provides some enjoyably tense entertainment-at least for those with a high capacity for suspended disbelief.

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Kim Basinger plays Jessica Martin, a science teacher abducted from her beautiful Brentwood home. She's thrust into an attic room with an old phone mounted on an exposed post. Moments later, one of her captors returns and smashes the phone to bits with a sledge hammer.

Discovering that the connection is still active, Jessica fumbles with the mess of wires and broken plastic until she's able to make one random call, which reaches a 20-year-old named Ryan (Chris Evans). Initially dubious, Ryan becomes convinced that Jessica's plight is real and spends the rest of the movie trying to rescue her and her family while maintaining their tenuous phone connection.

Cellular is not a great movie. But small touches-such as a frantic scene set to an electronica remix of Nina Simone's "Sinnerman" and the presence of William H. Macy as a reluctantly helpful cop-place Cellular a cut above most of its peers.

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