In a fit of complete boredom a while back, I flipped to one of the movie channels I get and discovered the movie “Cellular” had just started. “Yeah, okay,” I thought to myself. “Why not?”
Turned out it was as schlocky as I figured it would be, filled with unbelievable situations and guys who can suddenly drive like professional stuntmen when they have to (car chases really increase your driving skills). One thing I didn’t bank on seeing, though, was a female character being a victim refusing to be a victim. That doesn’t fit into the brainless action movie mold as well.
The basic premise to the movie is this: a woman is kidnapped and locked up in an attic and she doesn’t know why. Bad guys smash up a phone that happens to be there.
So, reasonably, we’re supposed to see the woman as the victim, right? She is, of course, but she doesn’t sit there helplessly and wait to be rescued. She (Jessica, as it turns out) plays around with the broken phone until she manages to make it work. The connection isn’t great and totally random – she reaches a guy and convinces him to help her.
Even though Jessica hasn’t a clue what’s going on, she keeps her wits about her like this for the whole movie. She feeds the guy (Ryan) information when she can and takes as much control as she’s able from her imprisoned state. When the bad guys go for her son, she directs Ryan on how to get to him before they do (Ryan fails). When the bad guys reveal they’re actually looking for Jessica’s husband, she gets Ryan to go there and once again try to meet the husband before he can get yoinked. Ryan fails again, and breaks the cell phone he’s on, leaving her alone, alone.
Aha, but Jessica doesn’t take up complacency now. No, she keeps trying to use the phone. When that’s discovered, a baddie goes up to smack her around…but she’s smart. She stabs him in an artery and gets away. Go Jess!
More stuff happens, and she, hubby and son are shackled in a van with a bad guy. She sees an opportunity and takes it, using her handcuffs to strangle the guy unconcious.
All in all, Jessica did all right for herself and for her family. I was impressed with her ability to cope and impressed that a movie so cheesy actually gave her the chance to be her own hero.
Everything was great until the end, when Jessica sees Ryan for the first time and she gives him a big hug of thanks for saving her life.
His role was instrumental, of course, but Jess, honey? You saved yourself.