Most helpful positive review
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Visually Mesmerizing and Graphic film!
on 14 January 2001
The Cell is a director's film. It is extravagant and imaginative, bold in its use of color and textures captured by the lens. The subject explores the deep recesses of the mind of a serial killer and in doing so, takes liberties with the real and unreal. The end result is a fantastic cinema tapestry that would delight any artist. The movie is an interesting hybrid of genres. It's part science fiction, part crime story and part psychological thriller. Jennifer Lopez is Catherine Deane, a child psychologist working for an experimental research facility whose techniques involve mental teleportation, allowing doctor and patient to interface in the subconscious realm. Quirky indeed, but great food for sci-fi thought in our current cyber age. The premise allows for free artistic reign put to good use by Tarsem. Vincent D'Onofrio plays Carl Stargher, the psychotic killer who drowns his female victims in a cell chamber before transforming them into dolls to fulfill his sadistic fantasies... Stargher is captured early in the film but a coma prevents him from disclosing the whereabouts of his latest victim to the FBI team, led by Vince Vaughn. The imagery in costume, makeup and set design is both ornate and horrific in the mind sequences, making footage of the real world drab in comparison. The colors are lush and surreal and at times, I suspected David Lynch to be somewhere behind the scenes. Many visual comparisons could be made to Twin Peaks or the X-Files or other contemporary works that explore the dark forces of the unknown. The acting is secondary to production in this picture (with the exception of D'Onofrio). Stand here. Do this. Say this. The actors are just along for the ride on this one, although I will say that this is one vehicle that seems to fit Lopez to perfection as it magnifies the actress's dual persona of sultry woman and haut-couture diva. Since most of the compelling drama occurs in the mental realm, it is difficult to find much fault in the plot. After all, how can you critique imagination? The Cell is a visually mesmerizing and graphic film, intended for mature audiences.