Stephen King. I don’t think there is a single soul on this planet, who has never heard of this name. Whether or not you have ever read one of his books, I don’t think you can deny that he is one of the most succesful writers of our time. There are a lot of his books that have been made into a movie or a television series. Some of these were truly fantastic, like for instance The Green Mile or the Shawshank Redemption. But unfortunately there are also a lot of really bad ones, like Maximum Overdrive. One of the more recent movies based on the novel by the same name is Cell, and it stars John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson. But is this a movie that falls in the good or the bad category?
In Cell we follow the aspiring graphic novel artist Clay Riddell. After having just made a good deal for his novel, he calls his estranged wife and son from the airport to share the good news. Unfortunately in the middle of talking to his son, his cellphone dies on him. And that is when it happens. All around him people talking on their mobile phones get hit by a strange signal, later called the Pulse. All the people that have heard the signal are instantly transformed into raging and homicidal maniacs. With the airport turning into complete chaos around him, Clay manages to get away and soon meets up with Tom, also one of the people that escaped The Pulse. Travelling together with Tom, Clay has just one goal: to reach his son and get him to safety. However with everything turning into madness around them, that task is easier said than done.
I have read the novel Cell, and I honestly have to say that I loved it. I always like movies or books that centre around some kind of apocalypse, and this book was very cleverly written. The movie however, is not as good as the novel. Being based on the book, it is not following the same story. Some situations are the same, but mostly this movie just goes in a completely different direction. There were some truly disturbing scenes in the movie, and it all started off pretty good. Unfortunately, as the movie goes on, that same strong starting level does not continue for the rest of the film. In the novel you truly cared about the characters, but in the movie I could not care less about what happened to them. Both Cusack and Jackson play decent roles, but do not manage to elevate the movie to above average. In the end we are left with a pretty mediocre movie, that manages to just hold your attention until the pretty abrupt ending. This movie just isn’t very good, but I do have to say that there are definitely worse Stephen King adaptations out there.
I give Cell a 5 out of 10 score.