Taken from July 2016 Edition of Movies to See:
“Cell (July 8) I’m intrigued because it seems like a zombie type film which I usually enjoy, but the people are turned by cell phone signals which seems more like a mental issue that could be fixed rather than a virus or disease but everyone’s first reaction is to kill everyone. The Day After Tomorrow meets zombies.”
The Cell is a science fiction horror movie based on the Stephen King novel of the same name. Believe it or not I have never read any of Stephen King’s books, I have only seen the odd movie adaptation for his novels. It seems the trend continues…
The Cell stars John Cusack (a bit of an odd choice for the leading man) and his co-star Samuel L. Jackson. The pair had previously worked together on another Stephen King book to film adaptation which received relatively positive reviews.
Clayton Riddel (Cusack) is at an airport on his way home to see his son, the relationship with his wife is clearly at odds and more is explained further on in the film. The use of cell phones is obviously noted, especially in Clay’s attempt to find somewhere he can charge his phone after it dies during a phone call with his son. After securing a payphone a scene breaks out causing panic and confusion with more and more scenes breaking out. People begin screaming and running as others begin to beat each other and harm themselves. Not truly understanding what is going on, Clay begins to associate the cell phones with the reactions people are having. Narrowly escaping, Clay finds a small group of survivors, but even fewer willing to leave the safety of their location. Clay and a track conductor named Thomas McCourt (Samuel L. Jackson) leave the airport behind, not believing it to be safe. Clay expresses his need to find his son and the pair venture on a journey through an apocalyptic landscape with an even sinister agenda.
To me, John Cusack always seems out of place in his roles. One of those male actors whose characters hardly differ from one to another and never really wow you. For some reason Samuel L. Jackson seems to fall into this category as well, but there is something about him that is at least engaging, where as Cusack gives off the air of someone who just stumbled out of an airport lounge. As I mentioned I have never read any of Stephen King’s books, but he is obviously famous enough to be a well known name. The producer’s probably thought that this would be an instant hit, using the popularity of zombies to it’s advantage. Even with this popular powerhouse behind it, the story lacked in all areas causing the film to be anti-climactic and awkward with a couple WTF’s thrown in there for fun.
Despite the fact that the movie is a separate entity from the novel and should be treated as such, any desire to attempt a Stephen King novel has been put off even longer for fear that, just maybe, his writing is as disastrous as his screen play adaptation. The film had a very limited release in theatres before appearing in the video on demand sections of your various catalogues where it no doubt suckered many a dollar from it’s unsuspecting victims. In the end, it would be better for your cellphone signals to fry your brain causing you to bash your brains into the wall until you day than to sit through this movie.