8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
AN ELEVATION OF FORM OVER SUBSTANCE...,
This review is from: The Cell [VHS] (VHS Tape)
The movie starts out promisingly enough. FBI agents are on the hunt for a bizarre serial killer, well acted by Vincent D'Onofrio, who kidnaps his victims and then, while they are still alive, puts them into a giant water tank that, after a certain timed interval, slowly begins to fill up with water, until the inevitable occurs.
The FBI ultimately apprehends the serial killer just after he kidnaps his last victim, but not before he has stashed his victim in an unknown location. Before the FBI can pry from him information as to the victim's whereabouts, the killer eludes them mentally by going into a total catatonic state out of which he cannot be induced. The police are at a loss as to the location of the water tank where the last victim has been presumably stashed and time is ticking. They have no way of verbally communicating with the killer in his catatonic state.
Enter psychologist Catherine Deane, into which role Jennifer Lopez is woefully miscast. Ms. Deane apparently has the ability to enter the mind of another person through the aid of a newly developed and experimental technology. She agrees to enter the mind of this deranged, sado-masochistic serial killer in an effort to probe his mental recesses for a clue as to where the victim may be, so as to aid the FBI in locating his last victim and, hopefully, snatching her from the jaws of death.
Ms. Lopez sleep walks through her role and, while looking stunningly beautiful at all times, demonstrates the acting ability of an amoeba. Anyone who has seen her in the title role in the film, "Selena" knows that she is capable of much more. For whatever reason, she seems to have been persuaded that speaking in a monotone and gazing into the distance connotes intelligence and depth. Wrong!
Moreover, while the imagery in the film is visually stunning and, oftentimes, quite beautiful, almost Dali-esque in its conception and execution, it cannot carry and sustain the film, when the plot and story line thin out. What starts off promisingly enough, ultimately, falls flat. The film turns out to be just an unfortunate elevation of form over substance. The end result is that the movie fails to deliver.