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Monday, May 15, 2017

Cell (2016)


So, I was wandering around Best Buy looking at the movies with a $25 gift card burning a hole in my pocket (Birthday money you see…). Cell caught my eye and I immediately thought to myself, ‘I totally forgot that came out last year’. That alone should have put me on guard. But I was heady with the influx of free money and decided to grab myself a copy on Blu-ray along with some Twix candy bars. Took the disc home, popped it in the old reliable player, and jumped into the action.

We are introduced to the main character Clay, played by John Cusack, as he is walking thru an airport. He is on his cell phone talking to his ex-wife and son. His phone dies and a few seconds later everything goes to hell. Anyone that was on their cell phone goes crazy and attacks anyone not affected. Clay flees and ends up in the subway where he meets Tom, played by Samuel L. Jackson. Together they head off to find Clay’s family and get the hell out of the city. Along the way, they pick up some other survivors and discover they are all dreaming of the same figure in a red hoodie. One that looks just like the character in Clay’s graphic novel he sold that very morning!

I’m a huge Stephen King fan and I mostly liked the novel that this movie was based on. I thought the ending of the book was weak, but everything leading up to it was great. When I heard that King co-wrote the screenplay and “fixed” the ending I was excited to check it out. Then it suddenly disappeared eventually showing up on demand. After watching it I realize why that happened. It’s a terrible movie!

Good thing they only travel at night!
Not sure if it is the script, directing, or the editing but the movie has zero energy. It boggles my mind how that could possible happen. You literally have crazy people running around killing everything in sight, but somehow the pacing is excruciatingly slow and generally I wasn’t interested. We have scene after scene of them walking thru the woods in the daylight. This is after they establish that those infected with the cell phone insanity are only active during the day and sleep at night. Yet they never run into any of them. More importantly why not travel at night? Seriously movie follow your own damn rules!

Cell has an excellent cast with John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson getting the most screen time. Sadly, the performances are wooden and uninspired. Now I’ve seen Cusack not be great in things, but Jackson is normally always good no matter what he is in. Not sure if the material was that bad, the director reigned him in, or if he just phoned it in for a paycheck. See what I did there? Hah I’m a funny guy! But seriously it is very disappointing to not at least get some energy from actors that I know are better than they show here.

What made things even worse was that I sat thru the whole movie hoping that I’d at least get a decent ending. Remember I didn’t like the ending to the book. Sure enough King changed the ending and managed to make it even more vague and frustrating! You made it worse dude. I didn’t think that was possible but that’s what happened.

I could go on but I don’t want to waste my or your time. There is nothing to see here, move along to a better movie. Well at least the Twix Bars were good.


© Copyright 2017 John Shatzer

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