Cell is an apocalyptic horror novel published by American author Stephen King in 2006. The story follows a New England artist struggling to reunite with his young son after a mysterious signal broadcast over the global cell phone network turns the majority of his fellow humans into mindless vicious animals.
Based on the novel of the same name, the director takes on an ambitious project with the help of Stephen King himself. The star studded cast, with John Cusack and Samuel L Jackson is sure to make a haunting and memorable movie, right?
Not this time, nowhere in this film did I personally have my mind blown. The film starts off with a heart racing scene in the airport, something that you would be quite frightened to witness, but John Cusack just doesn’t deliver in his acting – I’m not personally a fan because he doesn’t seem to show any emotions in any film. The story is not explained properly and we are dropped into the action straight away, as if we are all meant to have read the book. The special effects were not great for a blockbuster either, the plane crashing through the terminal was extremely laughable. Soon though the story sees Samuel Jackson introduced, whom is a great actor, but doesn’t come close to showing it sadly. Yet again, we are supposed to understand things that are just introduced with no explanation. The characters also seem flat and are seriously underdeveloped.
Along the way to find his son, the pair are frequently met with strangers along their road trip. These appearances actually seemed to show an improvement in the story, especially the scene where they burn the people in the stadium. But still, more questions are asked and little is answered. So up to now, we have the entire population of people turned into mad killers, and no explanation as to why, and a group with no character.
It soon gets even more tense though as they battle their way closer to a mysterious signal tower, where the killer people are apparently being controlled from. The appearance of the the man in the red hoodie is good, but doesn’t – yet again – explain anything. He appears multiple times until the end where there is some kind of stand off. The climax is not very good, and the ‘zombie’ like people can be seen moving in a clearly computer animated way (CGI), which is so poor I wanted to cry. It then sees the father and son united, and seem to walk off after destroying the tower, only for a cut scene of Cusack walking among the crowds of zombies to show. It is all very confusing.
I want to write about the film in a good light, so will give credit to the road trip style throughout, and the sudden moments of terror, and perhaps to the opening scene and subsequent stadium scene. Other than that most of the film is forgettable, sadly. The story was poorly explained for an adaption, the acting wasn’t great – even from so-called expert actors – and the action and CGI were very limited. Considering King himself worked on this project, I cannot understand why he didn’t have the characters lives explained, or their background.
Therefore I award the film :