Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Directed by: Tod Williams
Starring: John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, Isabelle Fuhrman
Cell depicts a strange case of events in which mobile phone signal turns most of the human population into flesh eating zombies. Caught up in all this is John Cusack’s Clay Ridell, a graphic novelist trying to find his way back to his kids. Along the way he is joined by Samuel L. Jackson’s no nonsense train driver, Thomas McCourt, and Isabelle Fuhrman’s Alice. Soon they find themselves shooting their way across America in an attempt to figure out exactly what’s happening.
The film’s representation of humanity’s obsession with mobile technology would be horrifying if it wasn’t so on point. But that’s where the realism comes to an end. As soon as the world goes zombiEE people waste no time getting their hands dirty with their itchy trigger fingers. It was once said every human being is only one square meal away from being a savage but apparently in the modern era, we are one signal bar away from savagery. And it doesn’t take us long to get there.Cell goes from zero to one hundred in about two minutes. One second Clay is on the phone to his wife and then the next minute people are frothing from the mouth, crashing aeroplanes and tucking into alsatians. The audience are given no time to get to know Cusack’s Clay, whose whole characterisation is he sortofmaybepossibly predicted this mobile apocalypse and that he wears a black beanie, all the time. Cusack spends the whole film with the look of a man trying to figure out how he stooped so low. Then you have Jackson who looks like he is just waiting for the cheque to clear. Everyone else who takes up space is driven by one thin character trait.
The film’s CGI looks a half done job and the direction is as lifeless as the zombies it attempts to catch up with. There are feeble attempts at horror that fall flat, zombie clichés aplenty (they develop nicknames within seconds and there’s a fabled “safe” place) and a complete lack of anything you could describe as tension. The whole film plays like old pensioners trying to figure out how to use an iPhone, a bit like your Nan, but that’s probably more exciting than this.