Cellular was written by a neophyte script polisher, and directed by a second-unit pro whose main fame claim is having helmed Final Destination 2, but the whole buoyant, pleasantly pulpy, invigorating doodle has Larry Cohen’s pawprints all over it. (He receives only a “story by” credit.) The scenario is Cohen-ultra, akin to Phone Booth and an inverse-double-flip of Sorry, Wrong Number: Classy Santa Monica mom Kim Basinger is kidnapped God knows why, and manages to get a broken phone to work—calling, haphazardly, the cell phone of an irresponsible beach stud (Chris Evans), who must then drive like a bat out of hell through L.A. to save her family and intervene in the bad guys’ every maneuver. Dead spots, dying batteries, crossed lines—every cell phone tech burp is a set piece. As light on its feet as any B-movie this featherweight, Cellular belongs to Evans, who looks like a Tiger Beat demigod but jumps the hoops with infectious aplomb. Basinger takes her shuddery Stanwyckness very seriously, but everyone else has a ball.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 7, 2004