Movie Details
Recommendation

Cellular (2004)

 
 
 

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"Ricky Martin"? You named your kid "Ricky Martin"? - Ryan

Chris Evans as Ryan in Cellular (2004)

There is a line in "Cellular" where Ethan tells Ryan "The bitch has more fight than you", he's referring to Jessica Martin, the science teacher and yummy mummy who Ethan has kidnapped who between making calls on a smashed phone, slicing up a bad guy, taking beatings and still getting up as well as strangling a bad guy has more fight than your average secret agent. And it's all very stupid and unrealistic but then "Cellular" is not meant to be taken seriously, it's an action thriller and nothing more. Is it any good? Well it's not terrible despite being totally daft but neither is it very good in fact "Cellular" is just another action movie which is fun at the time but doesn't leave any sort of lasting impression.

When Jessica Martin (Kim Basinger - 8 Mile) is kidnapped she finds herself in a room with just a smashed up telephone. Fearing not only for her life but that of her son and husband she manages to dial out on the broken phone and through random tapping wires together finds herself on the phone to a young man Ryan (Chris Evans - The Perfect Score). Initially disbelieving when Jessica tells him what has happened, Ryan soon realises that she is in trouble and finds himself becoming an unlikely hero as he does what ever he can to save her and her family from a group of mysterious bad guys.

Jason Statham as Ethan in Cellular (2004)

What is for sure is that "Cellular" is by no means a complicated movie as we basically have a young man drawn into becoming a hero by saving a kidnapped woman and her family. It tries to be clever and throws up a few twists as to who the bad guys are and why they want something which Jessica's husband has but none of it is really that clever or that surprising. And to be honest it's quite daft with the whole cell phone element where Ryan not only has to try and stop the bad guys but keep his phone going so that he can stay in touch with Jessica being far too stupid for words. And adding to the stupidity is the beauty product obsessed cop who finds himself drawn into helping Ryan save Jessica.

Now "Cellular" is by no means a serious action movie, so much of it is played for laughs from the way Ryan steals a Porsche from a gobby lawyer through to William H. Macy as Sgt. Bob Mooney with his thing for beauty products. But none of it is really that funny as it borders on being more corny than anything as it goes for cheap laughs. Ironically the best joke comes from the look on bad guy Ethan's face, played by Jason Statham, as Ryan calls him a Dick Head. And to be honest many of the funnier moments come from Statham playing to that tough guy persona rather than the scenes thrown in for comedy effect.

As such "Cellular" works best when it's focussing on the action which thankfully it does for the majority of the movie. Now there is plenty of dull cliche action, stupid car chases, running around the building as well as a few gun battles and fights. But in amongst all this cliche action there is some really nice moments such as when Ryan escapes from Ethan by sliding down one of those building work chutes. And although it's cheesy the gun battle which Mooney has in Jessica's house as he knocks over a goldfish bowl and then slides across the floor looks great.

The trouble is that "Cellular" is so over the top and unrealistic be it the story, the comedy, the action or the characters making it a movie which feels like it wants to attach itself to reality but goes one step too far in trying to make it exciting. The whole thing about Jessica battling the bad guys and making calls on a broken phone is just too unbelievable and that is just one element in a movie which has many unbelievable moments. Yes it is entertaining but it makes it seriously daft, something which ends up spoiling what could have been a more exciting movie rather than one which ends up being more laughable.

As for the acting well Chris Evans is kind of fun as heroic Ryan and Kim Basinger is certainly yummy as Jessica but they are forgettable performances. And that can be said of everyone else such as William H. Macy, Noah Emmerich and Jason Statham as they all deliver reasonable performances but also forgettable performances. All of which boils down to the fact that "Cellular" is a movie not interested in building up characters so what we get are 2 dimensional figures but all about the action.

What this all boils down to is that "Cellular" is fun but it is also forgettable. Whilst it has a nice idea for a story it all ends up rather cliche with its mix of action and humour with nothing really standing out as being anything more than average. In fact you remember "Cellular" more for being unrealistic and daft rather than for being a good movie.

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