Farrell Suffers Call Waiting
Stu Shepard (Colin Farrell - Minority Report) is a smooth talking publicist who is a quick thinker and full of his own self worth. He's also married but that doesn't stop him heading to the same Manhattan phone booth where he removes his wedding ring and calls pretty actress Pamela (Katie Holmes) who he flirts with in the hope of sleeping with her. But on this day when he finishes the call the phone rings and on answering it he hears a voice (Kiefer Sutherland - Ground Control) who seems to know an unsettling amount about him and not only toys with him but makes it clear if he leaves the phone booth he will be killed. When the voice shoots a man nearby the police lead by Captain Ramey (Forest Whitaker - Panic Room) arrive and slowly become aware that Stu is being held hostage.
"Phone Booth" is a movie which if you get wrapped up in what is happening will have you spell bound. The situation of a man being tapped inside a phone booth by an ominous voice on the end of a line will have you wondering how it is going to play out. The way at the start Stu has to deal with abuse from those outside wanting to use the phone will add to the slowly increasing tension. And when the cops arrive things get nicely messy all the time the tension increasing.
If you don't get sucked in by the situation which frankly is over the top I can guarantee you will spend the entire movie saying why. I say that because even when you get drawn into the drama when it is over you find yourself thinking about it and that is when the various plot holes reveal themselves.
Never the less "Phone Booth" works because it is snappy, full of amusing supporting characters including hookers and as I said it has atmosphere, an increasing atmosphere as the situation gets worse. It also features two important things starting with Kiefer Sutherland whose ominous voice has just the right amount of crazy about it which makes it perfectly menacing. But the other thing is Colin Farrell as whilst there are supporting performances including one from forest Whitaker this movie hangs on Farrell taking us on the ride, going from an arrogant jerk to a man humbled by his circumstance in fear of his life. It is a great performance from Farrell who brings the drama to life.
At the same time credit must also go to director Joel Schumacher because he keeps "Phone Booth" moving yet he also creates atmosphere and a sense of claustrophobia. I heard someone once call it "Speed" but stationary and that is a good description as we have Stu trapped in a phone booth having to obey rules to survive.
What this all boils down to is that "Phone Booth" has problems which present themselves when you think about it. But if you get swept up in the drama of a man stuck in a phone booth with a rifle pointed at him it will keep you entertained.