I was a fan of last year's thriller Phone Booth, particularly the writing, so I was moderately psyched for screenwriter Larry Cohen's latest flick, Cellular. I became slightly more psyched when I saw Jason Statham and Kim Basinger in the trailer, and I was interested in seeing if Not Another Teen Movie "star" Chris Evans could actually act. Unfortunately, Cohen only got a story credit, with newbie scribe Chris Morgan writing the screenplay, and if I would've known that, I might have skipped this flick for a poker game. Damn, I could've used that pot...

Cellular starts out on in the burbs of Los Angeles with Jessica Martin (Basinger) seeing her young son off to school. Heartwarming. Then she gets home and before she can get to the answering machine message her maid had informed her of, BAM! A bunch of guys led by Ethan (Statham) bust through the glass door and abduct the lovely science teacher. They take her to some house, lock her in the attic and smash the only telephone up there. Apparently she minored in electronics, because she manages to wire the phone to make a random call. Cut to the Santa Monica pier where Ryan (Evans) is trying to win his ex-girlfriend (hottie Jessica Biel) back by being a puss and running all these errands for her. En route to said errands, his cell phone rings, and low and behold, it's Martin, and after a seemingly lengthy exchange of him not believing her, he realizes she's a proverbial damsel in distress and does what he can to help her out.

The acting, while good in some parts, is pretty much crap overall. Evans, trying to break out of the spoof-flick typecast, doesn't do a horrendous job, it's just merely average. I didn't really mind Statham that much because he did a pretty good job playing a bad guy for the first time, but another guy who played a bad guy did horribly. Noah Emmerich, who plays the "nice guy" very well in Miracle and The Truman Show, is horrendous here, which is even funnier because he isn't even listed among the cast members on IMDB. I won't give away his full character here, but it just isn't pretty to watch. He just doesn't have the look for this kind of character, and he doesn't pull it off at all. William H. Macy, who's usually on point, is pretty bad as well as a bumbling cop who stumbles upon this scheme. Basinger isn't that bad either, but a lot of her performance seems rather forced, even though she does look pretty damn good. Also, look for some crappy smaller roles from Not Another Teen Movie co-star Eric Christian Olsen and Dat Phan, the horrible comic who somehow won the first season of Last Comic Standing.

The script isn't too bad, with Cohen's story and Morgan's screenplay, although I would be very interested in seeing Cohen's original draft to see how they messed with it. There are some nice little twists here and there, and it's a very high-paced flick. However, the dialogue isn't that good and it's fairly predictable in some parts. Sadly, the script, with it's high-concept premise and fast-paced action, is probably the best part of the movie, but it still isn't really that good.

Director David R. Ellis, best known for directing Final Destination 2, tries a bunch of zippy camera movements that's more annoying than innovative and he really doesn't know how to handle his talent. The performances all seem contrived, and while his quick-cutting style might work in some parts, in others it seems rather unnecessary. You'll laugh hysterically when you see how he uses Macy in a late "action" scene, and not because it's supposed to be funny. You'll laugh because it looks like a 98-cent John Woo rip-off. It seems that he has the style down for this type of flick, but the execution is just way off.

Cellular is a movie about the dangers of answering your cell phone without checking the caller ID. I was relieved that when I left the theater that I didn't have any missed calls, so I knew none of my friends were in peril... O.K., that was laying it on pretty thick, but I digress. There is only one thing I can really say to describe this movie: Sorry, wrong number...

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