UK Release Date: 15th September 2000
Watched on Sky+ Saturday 18th August 2012.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I think this film came up in an online conversation around the time that ‘Inception’ was in cinemas. Either way, it ended up being recommended to me and added to ‘The List’. Well, time passes and TV executives swap around the movies they can show and eventually it comes around. I must say I wasn’t disappointed; despite some quite disappointing scores on various websites (see below) I found it quite enthralling! More of that later, here’s a very brief summary first.
Set in the not too distant future, this film concerns Catherine Deane who, with the help of technology and drugs, can enter the consciousness of another human being. So far she has only done it on a child who is in a coma, but bigger things are just around the corner. A serial killer, Carl Stargher, has captured another victim but he has been tracked down by FBI agents Peter Novak and Gordon Ramsey. Due to a rare medical condition he has lapsed into a coma. The only way to save the victim is for Catherine to enter his mind and find clues to her whereabouts. The trouble is, the clock is ticking, and she only has a certain amount of time before it’s to late. Add to this the risk that Catherine may succumb to Carl’s will and there are the makings of quite a tale here. How does it turn out… well I had better not tell you that here or the Spoiler Police (Mind-Meld Division) will be reading my thoughts (again).
Beautifully made with some truly stunning scenes, particularly during the ‘dream’ sequences. Decent performances all round; particularly from Jennifer Lopez as Catherine Deane, I thought she played quite a tricky part very well and Vincent D'Onofrio as the serial killer, Carl Stargher. Also worthy of note were; Vince Vaughn in a rare dramatic role as Peter Novak, Jake Weber as Gordon Ramsey, Dylan Baker as Henry West, Marianne Jean-Baptiste as Dr. Miriam Kent and a special mention for Jake Thomas as the young Carl Stargher.
I have rarely seen a film that has the scope of this one; it really tests the little grey cells to the maximum. Some scenes are truly off the wall but at the same time totally beautifully conceived and enthralling. It’s a shame that the real-world story couldn’t quite match the ‘dream’ world created by the director and his team. Even so, hats off to them for creating some truly stunning (and entirely bonkers) work! I’ll admit some of the performances could have been better, but all the same that didn’t mar my enjoyment. Despite its poor showing in the polls I urge you to take a look… You won’t be disappointed.
SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED.
My Score 7.8/10
IMDb Score: 6.2/10 (based on 52,102 votes at the time of going to press).
MetaScore: 40/100: (Based on 32 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 50/100 ‘Want to See’ (based on 160,220 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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Catharine Deane: Do you believe there is a part of yourself, deep inside in your mind, with things you don't want other people to see? During a session when I'm inside, I get to see those things.
Carl Stargher: And what world do you live in?
Carl Stargher: Where do you come from?
Carl Stargher: You can not kill me.
Carl Stargher: Why are you here... don't lie.
Catharine Deane: I came to help you.
Carl Stargher: You're lying! Bitch, whore... cunt!
Catharine Deane: You sound like your father.
Carl Stargher: My father?
Carl Stargher: [in a monster's voice] HE WAS NOTHING, HE IS NOTHING!
Catharine Deane: My world, my rules.
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Official Site: http://newline.com/properties/cellthe.html