Oh…yay. A sequel (or something) to a mediocre (but, at least, visually stunning) film from 2000 with Jennifer Lopez! It’s hard to believe that they thought that now would be a good time to bring about a sequel to a film that everyone’s long forgotten about, but…hey, that idea barrel has to be scraped sometimes. With it being a completely DTV, hammed up “sequel” to the original film, The Cell 2 will likely only interest those who were fans of the original…and then promptly offend and turn them off from ever wanting to watch sequels to already mediocre films again.
Imagine a serial killer who flatlines his victims and then brings them back to life over and over again, until they beg to die. Beautiful psychic investigator Maya Casteneda (Tessie Santiago) was his last victim and swore vengeance on her tormentor before she escaped. Now The Cusp is back, and the FBI taps Maya to help capture the elusive monster. Maya soon discovers the only way she can locate The Cusp is to enter his head. The danger: if Maya dies in the killers brain, she dies in real life! Like the trailblazing original, The Cell 2 is a mind-blowing mix of fantasy and reality that enters a place of fear and power like no other: the thoughts of a psychopath. Chris Bruno (The Dead Zone), Frank Whaley (World Trade Center) and Bart Johnson (High School Musical) co-star.
A bit o’ Flatliners (without the voluntary part) and a bit o’ The Cell merged together to make…this very loosely based sequel. Honestly I remember very little from the original 2000 film (as 2000 was the last time I saw it so…yup, it’s been nine years) other than the trippy mental bits, but absolutely nothing reminded me of it from this new film. This new outing seems something more akin to the usual sense of horror: dark hallways, shadows, etc. The original film had just some of the most absolutely stunning, mind-melting visuals that you couldn’t help but enjoy it for that aspect alone…this one? Not so much.
Combine with the fact that the plot is stupid (check out that bit from the synopsis: “if Maya dies in the killers brain, she dies in real life!” Oh! Scary!) and that it isn’t the last bit interesting, just about the only thing this film does is set up a sense of dread and fear…which it does nothing with. The elements are all there to scare the pants off of you, but in the end it’s just another psycho killer with at least a fairly decent M.O. Not enough of one to really build an entire story around, but whatever.
The main bad guy (whom the police call “The Cusp,” which I guess is because he brings people to the cusp of death and pulls them back. Doesn’t make the name any less stupid, mind you, but it’s better than “The Almost-Murderer” or something) is really not interesting past his method of killing people and the cast, from main to supporting, is just such a big mess. I didn’t recognize a single person in this film and the acting was just so damn bad that I couldn’t help but cringe every step of the way. Worst of all what you go into for in a horror film nowadays (i.e., the Saw era) is the gore and there’s…so little of it here. I wish for nothing more than to not see this film again…honestly and truly.
Overall even if you’re a fan of the original, just Skip this film. The cover art is mildly interesting, but other than that…a complete and utter waste of time.
Awesome, it’s on Blu-ray. We get to see this overblown color palette of a film vary wildly in high-definition…hooray! Yeah, this film looks as bad as it…well…is, and the varying shades of skin tones and black levels that swallow up everything around it just makes for an incredibly bad looking film. I get what they were going for, mind you, with the blown-out visuals everywhere, but it simply wasn’t enough to care about. I can’t even really take issue with the DNR or spotty areas of quality either, because I just don’t care. The TrueHD 5.1 mix may as well be stereo only, as the front channels, despite delivering the dialogue with crystal clear quality (for whatever that’s worth), take hold of the track and let go only briefly for the surrounds and subwoofer to burp something out. But…again…does it matter? Nope, because no one cares.
The extras include a half hour making-of documentary that is laden with back patting and moaning about the films small budget and short shoot schedule. I don’t really care to hear about the deeper meaning of the film, as that would require some kind of mental investment. It’s admittedly more entertaining than the film and if you watch it before the film, you may actually think the film has something to offer…but, alas. There is nothing.
The set is packaged in a single disc Elite Blu-ray case with a super glossy slipcover, but aside from the enticing visuals of the cover and sheen of the slip, there just isn’t anything here that’s worth checking out. Skip this one with no remorse and no regret.
The Cell 2 arrives on Blu-ray on June 16th.