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Sometimes, I get quite a surprise.

Thinking Cellular was just going to be Hollywood’s last gasp attempt at a summer action flick, I went in expecting very little of quality and walked out surprisingly impressed. This was actually an 89 minute adrenaline rush, and a whole lot of fun.

The action revolves around Ryan (Chris Evans, the future Human Torch), your basic young man whose seems to have nothing else to do but hang out at Santa Monica Pier. While trying to impress his ex-girlfriend, he gets a random phone call. It’s Jessica Martin (Kim Basinger), and she’s been kidnapped, and he’s the only person she’s managed to contact on the destroyed phone her captors mistakenly left with her. Ryan is her only hope (quiet with the Star Wars jokes), and he goes to extreme lengths to save her and her family from her captors.

The movie starts out quietly, but that ends pretty fast, with murder, kidnapping, and eventually, that fateful phone call that the movie zooms in and centers on quickly. After that, the pace is non stop, with only brief periods of slow down so the rest of us can catch our breaths. There’s plenty of humor, and lots of irony, but they fit well, and don’t slow down the movie at all.

One of the most delightful parts of the movie: the appearance of the ever wonderful William H. Macy (Fargo, among others) as the almost retired police officer Mooney. Honestly, Macy should do more action films; he’s particularly awesome with a gun. Jason Statham (The Italian Job) is Greer, the main bad guy that we see. While he’s quiet, he’s also mean, which is exactly what he needed to be.

Directed by David Ellis (Final Destination 2), you can easily see his stunt coordinator roots. The film is full of chase sequences of various kinds, as Ryan speeds from place to place in attempts to save the Martin family. But it’s done very well, and there are almost no pointless explosions or events. It’s all very plausible, which is a nice change from some action flicks out there these days.

The plot is simple, and it’s also something different. While it can be compared to other films, in terms of major plot themes, it’s still has twists in it that make it interesting, and a fun ride.

Tastefully done, with no excessive amounts of death, violence, or blood, Cellular still manages to be very exciting. There was no dragging, which is probably why it runs a bit shorter than usual. They cut out all the possible boring parts and just left the good stuff. Overall, a well done end to the summer action season.

But now, I’m just slightly nervous about picking up my phone…


Erin Frost

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