Cell (2016)

directed by tod williams
the genre company/benaroya pictures

When the novel upon which this film is based was first published, I was in one of my periodic phases where I was not interested in reading any more goddamn Stephen King novels, besides which I thought it sounded pretty stupid, given that it seemed a little late to be ruminating on mobile phones. (And paradoxically proved to have been early enough to make a more prescient statement than it did!) Then a similarly King-obsessed friend managed to goad me into catching up on his more recent works – Under the Dome and Duma Key, in case you’re wondering – and I was screwed. Cell the novel is not of the more admirable S. King, and neither is this adaptation worthwhile, despite – or because of – the author’s work on the screenplay. John Cusack takes the lead role, Sam Jackson shows up for a paycheck, and the ending is completely different from the book’s, and appalling. It’s also one of the movie’s only effective scenes, and made me wonder yet again why the best-selling author seemingly doesn’t have an editor. Or at least one who can talk him out of his poorer ideas.

why did i watch this movie?

I couldn’t help myself, the way it’s difficult not to look at the burning auto wreck as you drive past it.

should you watch this movie?

I bet it would be good for spurring a healthy debate about how or why actors appear in certain roles and/or movies.

highlight and low point

This flick feels really lazy, as though nobody in it or involved with it really gave much of a tin shit. So the ending stands out – because although it’s also lousy, for those familiar with the source text it’s at least pretty jarring.

rating from outer space: d

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