Cell (2016) Review

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I read about a new Stephen King film based on one of his books called Cell, I’d never read or even heard of the book but thought the film sounded pretty good. I’m always up for watching something that might offer a new take on the zombie/virus/mutant crazies genre of films. So here’s my thoughts…….

Director: Tod Williams

Writers: Adam Alleca (screenplay), Stephen King (based on the novel by)

Run Time: 98 mins

The film starts off with Clay Riddell (John Cusack) in an airport, he tries to phone his child up and is suddenly cut off, so he goes for a payphone but still can’t get through. Then suddenly every mobile phone in the world has some sort of pulse sent through it, turning everyone who was on their phone at the time into a maniac who wants to attack everyone they see.

Clay manages to escape the airport after a decent chase scene and makes it to a train under the airport where some other survivors are hiding. This is where he meets train driver Tom McCourt (Samuel L. Jackson) despite the wishes of the survivors on the train Tom and Clay decide to walk out of the tunnels to escape.

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One of a few decent chase scenes in the film

Eventually they reach Clay’s apartment and this is where they are joined by Clay’s neighbour Alice (Isabelle Fuhrman) and this is now our team, Clay tells them he needs to find his son so our group head out into the world and meet up with various people during their journey. A very strange man who stays awake all the time to avoid the dreams and a young lad and head master of a school where thousands of the strange maniacs sleep.

There’s plenty of chases, escapes and fights with the new maniacs that now roam the world. A shared dream between the group starts to reveal the secrets of what the hell is going on. During their journey we learn more and more about the maniacs and what/who is controlling them.

Clay manages to get to his son’s home but this only leads to a trap and a final confrontation with the mysterious entity controlling everything.

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Samuel L Jackson is solid as usual

The Good

I really enjoyed the first 20-30 minutes of the film but that might be due to me always loving films that show the start of a zombie virus type situation. Things hit quickly in this film but it’s really well done.

The acting is pretty top notch especially from the main three people in the group, although Samuel L Jackson seems a bit wasted to me in this. Having just seen how brilliant he was in Hateful Eight it’s weird seeing him in such a mundane normal role that fails to showcase how damn good he can be.

Every chase scene is done pretty well and is usually quite tense, especially the ones at the very start.

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The being in control

The Bad

I’ve listed a few good things but despite there being good things, overall the film annoyed me, what started so well and ended well too was so boring during the middle. Sure there was some good chase scenes but in between the chases it failed to grip me at all.

The final “battle” was pathetic and strange and despite the very end being decent it still didn’t make up for what led to it being so anti climatic.

At times it felt more like a few generic “what might happen in a zombie apocalypse” scenes were thrown together with a good overall idea that they just couldn’t pull off.

I didn’t rate this film at all so any of the final rating I decide on is given for the decent chase scenes, the first 20 minutes or and the last couple of minutes, then again maybe I only liked the ending as it meant the bloody film was finally finished! I could however see the book being a good read, I just don’t think the story was right for a film.

Overall Score

40

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