Carefree surfer dude Ryan (Chris Evans) is hanging out at the beach with his best bud and trying to woo back his ex when he gets a crank call on his cell phone. Or at least that's what he thinks until the woman on the other end of the line, Jessica Martin (Kim Basinger), convinces him that she's been kidnapped, they're going to kill her whole family, and, no, it's not a joke. These guys mean business, and soon Ryan finds himself holding up a cell-phone store, stealing a car and orchestrating a robbery in a bank in order to save the family of a woman he's never met. With lazy, lifeless dialogue characterized by lots of "oh, god!"s, an incongruous score that clashes with both the action onscreen and itself, and plot holes as annoying as a dropped call, "Cellular's" worst offense is that it's patronizing in its pretense that we can't see right through it. Look how amazing cell phones are with all their futuristic gadgetry! They store incoming phone numbers! They record video! They solve crimes! They save lives!
Okay, so maybe that's true--anyone who's ever had car troubles in the middle of a blizzard knows how handy a line to the outside world can be. But do we really need to have the virtues of cellular technology and the so-over Nokia ring tone shoved down our throats? Starring Kim Basinger, Chris Evans, Jason Statham and William H. Macy. Directed by David R. Ellis. Written by Chris Morgan. Produced by Dean Devlin and Lauren Lloyd. A New Line release. Thriller. Rated PG-13 for violence, terror situations, language and some sexual references. Running time: 94 min