Movie Review – Cell

I’m a huge fan of Stephen King, for better or worse. I love a majority of his books that I’ve read, even though I have issues for most of them on how he writes them. He’s so unnecessarily long winded. Have you read his early works? They’re short. They get to the point. Now it’s like he’s paid per page, so he goes on and on and on about the dumbest shit.

The worst, though, is how many times people have screwed up his stories when translating them to TV or theater. It’s like the people doing them just don’t care. Have you seen the TV mini-series for The Stand? Holy shit that was bad.

For every good translation, there are half a dozen bad ones. Did you see the TV series Under The Dome? Oh my god, if you read the book like I did, I’m sure that show was absolutely terrible to you. That’s why it was canceled. The biggest problem that shouldn’t be, is, Stephen King gave his blessing and claimed to love the changes they were making. He approved that shit!

So I started paying attention to the new stuff coming out, and he’s got a say in almost every one of these works, and he’s allowing these people to screw them up. What the hell, man? I guess he doesn’t care as long as he’s paid.

Which brings me to Cell. I’m a huge fan of that book. In true King fashion the ending is terrible, but the rest of the book is amazing. Because so many people hated the ending, King rewrote it for the movie, and let me tell you, the book’s ending is better.

What really grinds my gears is when the writer of the adaptation changes things that don’t need to be changed. The opening scene in the book is beautifully described and laid out. It would’ve been a great opening scene in a movie. I guess they couldn’t get permission to film in a park somewhere, so they completely rewrote it so that the beginning of the story starts in a major airport. I guess there weren’t enough CGI opportunities in a park, so they opted for exploding planes. And that was where it seemed like if they gave a shit about the movie, it ended.

They only used an hour and a half to tell the story. An extra 30 minutes would’ve done that movie wonders. Of course, they would’ve had to use those 30 minutes wisely, and they probably wouldn’t have.

The story was so chopped up from the source material that it didn’t make any sense. The characters would later know things that never happened in the movie, or they would say in conversation exactly what was going on, even though there was no way they’d know any of it.

I just don’t understand it. If you like the book enough that you want to make it into a movie, why change it? If I wrote a book and someone wanted to opt it for a movie but they wanted a complete rewrite, they can suck my balls. I say this about any author INCLUDING King, if you willingly allow someone to change the story you wrote to something they wrote just so that it can be made into a movie, you obviously don’t give one shit about your own work or the people who read it.

Here are some reviews of the movie from actual critics. These are all spot on, and were found here.

On the website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 11% based on 47 reviews and an average score of 3.9/10. The site’s critical consensus reads, “Shoddily crafted and devoid of suspense, Cell squanders a capable cast and Stephen King’s once-prescient source material on a bland rehash of zombie cliches.” – Yup, and it’s not even a zombie story! Fuck, don’t get me started on that.

On Metacritic, the film has a score of 38 out of 100, based on 15 critics. Bob Grimm of CV Independent wrote that the movie “is easily one of the worst adaptations ever of a King story.” – Truth, but it’s watchable, if only barely. I couldn’t finish Under The Dome.

Arts BHAM’s Corey Craft called the film “dull”, “a trial to get through” and gave it 1 1⁄2 stars out of 5.

Nico Lang of Consequence of Sound wrote that Cell wasted an intriguing premise and called the film “unnecessarily glum and grim,” as well as “pretty dumb.”

Patrick Cooper of Bloody Disgusting called it a “forgettable adaptation” and further stated that “the story packs absolutely no punch and the solid stable of actors look bored for most of the film.” – Yeah, they do. Especially Jackson. It wasn’t their fault. The story was terrible.

Ok, so I’m gonna get started on that. Cell is NOT a story about zombies, people. Just because (spoilers) the people affected by the Pulse in the beginning of the story begin eating other people does not mean it’s a zombie story.

1) The people aren’t dead, or even undead. They’re alive. They’ve just been reprogrammed, or rebooted, like a computer. They start over with only the very basic of instincts, which just so happen to be shared characteristics with zombies. As soon as more information is uploaded to their collective brains, they stop eating each other and start working together.

2) If you kill them, they’re dead. You don’t have to burn them or shoot them in the head, or cut their limbs off. If you shoot them in the heart, they die. Because, as I said, they’re alive.

And possibly the absolute best scene from the book, where all of the “phoners” are hovering twenty feet above the ground and floating in single file towards a certain point, it was excellent… IN THE BOOK… because they didn’t bother to put that in the movie. Why? Because they spent up all of their special effect money on a shitty airplane mid-air collision in the beginning of the movie. Have I said how that wasn’t even in the book?

Ok, I think I’m done here. This is so terrible. Give it a watch if you must, but don’t be mad at me in the end when you see the end. If you actually make it that far.

I give this movie one middle finger.


About Matt Roberts

I am an author of horror and things near it. I enjoy nightmares and bad B horror flicks.
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5 Responses to Movie Review – Cell

  1. Jaded Jeni says:

    I even wish they had focused on the part where the reprogrammed people figured out how to look for and eat other food, like the guy in the vegetable garden rooting up cucumbers and whatnot. And the heavily pregnant woman. And the guy who had seriously shit himself. Those details would have made watching this travesty a whole lot more bearable. Good post babe, very awesome review that sums up exactly how I felt about this shitstorm of a movie.


  2. Arionis says:

    Sorry to hear this movie sucks. I really enjoyed the book. I like John Cusack in original films (Lloyd Dobbler forever) but whenever he plays the title roll in an adaptation it always seems to be a stinker.

    Liked by 1 person

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