The new Stephen King movie Cell seemed promising as it is adapted from one of his bloodiest books. It also reunites the winning team of Samuel L Jackson and John Cusack from King's previous book turned movie 1408. But the film's uneven pace and clumsy script drops in and out through the entire movie like an Antarctic cellular signal.
Spotty Reception at Best
The first few minutes scare you into thinking you are in for a major borefest while the movie sets you up to see its only redeeming sequence. Then at 7 minutes in, the pulse pounding action starts. Blood flows readily and we're faced with what happens when people use their cell phones on the toilet. Believe me, its not pretty. At least I can now fully appreciate how disgusting it is was when I did it. Past tense. After watching this movie, I'm committed to using my cell phone exclusively in 'pants up' zones.
Needless to say the movie quickly turns from borefest to bloodfest in under a minute. We're talking full on rabid, foaming at the mouth, flesh eating humans who vaguely remind you of poor 'Old Yeller'. And speaking of dogs, you even get to watch a guy eat one. How often do you see that?
Are Jump Scares Worth The Ticket Price?
Unfortunately, the second our lead characters escape the clutches of the infection, there is nothing left to infect an audience. The movie literally falls apart faster than a zombie outbreak.
Admittedly, there are a couple minor jump scares intermixed with ambiguous statements about technology, gun ownership and a few glib attempts at humor. But it is all lost in a forcefully muddled story line with ineffectual dialogue and poor direction that fails to engage the audience.
Furthermore, the slow pace and incoherent script is made more intolerable by seemingly uninterested actors. Who, by the way, were reportedly left out of the final cut meetings according to a tweet by John Cusack. That with their lackluster performances beg the question:
Did John and Samuel have a 'Stephen King'-ish 6th sense about the movie's poor quality from the beginning"?
Directed by Todd Williams (Paranormal Activity 2), Cell is scheduled for a limited theatrical release on July 8th, 2016. And that probably isn't a big surprise considering the severely critical reviews it received after the Pre-Theatrical VOD release in June.
My suggestion, if you get a call to buy tickets, press ignore!