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Ed Wood could have made a tighter psychological thriller than this.

DVD Review: The Cell 2

The Cell 2 is an amazing film. Not because it’s good or anything like that, because it isn’t. Far from good, in fact: it’s an absolute piece of shit if you’re really dying to know. No, the amazing feat about The Cell 2 is that it is credited as having four screenwriters — and not one of them had what the common sense to fill in some of the story’s numerous plot holes.

I vaguely recall watching the first Cell film back in 2000. I don’t remember much, other than the fact that I thought it was rather silly and mostly forgettable (and obviously the latter was true since I, well, don’t remember). However, as bad as the original Jennifer Lopez vehicle was, it could not be anywhere near as terrible as The Cell 2.

After establishing a very hazy connection to the main character of the first film, we are introduced to our new heroine, Maya Castaneda (played by Sandra Bullock impersonator Tessie Santiago). Several years back, Maya was abducted and tortured by a serial killer known as The Cusp, a deranged loon who enjoys killing his victims and bringing them back to life over and over (if you’re wondering what that must be like, you’ll be pleased to know that the viewer experiences the exact same feeling by just watching this film). Having been left for dead by The Cusp, Maya is now able to venture into people’s minds and all sorts of stuff like that. At least, I think that’s what was going on. Look, it’s hard to say for certain seeing as how not even one of the four writers knew.

Brought in by the world’s dullest and most unintelligent FBI agents ever (one of whom is brilliantly portrayed by Bart Johnson, who must have found it hard leaving the set of the bazillion High School Musical flicks he’s been involved in in the last several years), Maya agrees to help a small town sheriff (Chris Bruno, who is probably yearning to do McDonald’s commercials again after this) locate The Cusp — who has kidnapped the sheriff’s niece — before his body count reaches 24.

But who cares about the plot? The filmmakers obviously didn’t! Instead, just sit back and watch some of the dumbest characters ever created fumble their way through a world where the FBI is either too lazy or just not smart enough to do any sort of research or profiling. A world where a small town sheriff only decides that the recent serial killings of several young women are important after his niece is kidnapped. A world where entire shopping centers are completely vacant in the daytime and locations are easily reached via bad editing.

Let’s discuss the acting while we’re at it. The Sandra Bullock girl? Terrible. The High School Musical guy? Dumber than usual. Chris Bruno? Not so much. The only foreseeable excuse to watch this film would be to see Frank Whaley ham it up, but you’d have a better time watching him in that one House episode instead. Oh, and let’s not forget the special effects. I’ve seen better CGI in Spanish music videos. Hell, Sesame Street had a better FX budget than this flick. Absolute rubbish.

A very embarrassed Warner Home Video (under the New Line label) are the people responsible for unleashing this one to DVD and Blu-ray, folks — so write them. On DVD, the film looks decent enough, although it’s painfully clear that somebody really upped the contrast since all blacks have a hue of blue and all reds tend to think pink. In what seems like a throwback to the DVDs of yesteryear, this disc contains an anamorphic widescreen 1.78:1 ratio and a Pan & Scan 1.33:1 version. The only sound options here are two modest 5.1 Dolby Digital Surrounds in English and French. Subtitles are in English, French and Spanish.

Accompanying the movie is a 30-minute behind-the-scenes featurette interviewing the cast and crew. The only other special features are an assortment of trailers at the beginning of the disc.

One thing is for sure with The Cell 2: the continuity person was a spaz. One moment it’s snowing or raining, the next it isn’t. Characters that bi-locate at the editor’s will. Wounds miraculously heal or disappear completely. Add some truly terrible (not to mention predictable) writing, editing, and acting; some highly out-of-place Casio demo music; an anti-climactic car chase and some truly anti-suspenseful suspense and you have The Cell 2.

Ed Wood could have made a tighter psychological thriller than this.

About Luigi Bastardo

Luigi Bastardo is the alter-ego of a feller who loves an eclectic variety of classic (and sometimes not-so-classic) film and television. He currently lives in Northern California with four cats named Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Margaret. Seriously.

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