In CELL (2016), based on the Stephen King novel, a strange cell signal wipes the brains of anybody on a device, reducing them to violence savages. Caught up in this storm is Clay (John Cusack), who braves the apocalypse to try to find his son. He’s accompanied by several companions, notably Tom (Samuel L. Jackson).
The film has an intriguing concept but here it’s squandered on a movie that has some bright spots but is otherwise pretty lackluster and dreary. For a film about the apocalypse, it simply has no energy, and Cusack, a very capable actor, brings little to his role. Even during the initial outbreak, the slow pacing and Cusack’s incredulous but ho-hum reactions make it kind of boring. Not even its downer BRAZIL-style ending could save it, making it fairly forgettable. The highlight of the film was Jackson, who shines in almost anything he does as an actor, and whose quiet fortitude and friendship with Clay made me care about what happened to these people.
CELL isn’t a movie to be avoided but I’d suggest consuming it like fast food. Or maybe rewatch THE SIGNAL, which handled a similar concept in a much more fun way.