The Cell has Jennifer Lopez as a psycho-analo-therapist. Yeah, right - and I
am the fifth Beatle. Wonder what in the world prompted this casting. Last time
around she at least got to flaunt all the fancy stuff they made out of the humungous
cobra they lynched in "The Anaconda". She went on a "high" and imagined that she
perched atop the Beverly Hills.
Well, we'll do the only thing we can under the circumstances - forget that J Lo is in the movie and get on with it. In an abandoned rural farmhouse, Carl Stargher (Vincent D'Onofrio) locks innocent female victims in a large glass cell where he drowns them through an automated process and videotapes it. Now you know he is demented - if all he wanted to watch was buxom beauties yell and scream in disbelief in exactly the same pattern, he just could have gotten himself the Miss Universe contest tapes right from the 19th century. That would've been safer, too - for this gets the FBI gets on his tail.
Now a violent seizure renders him comatose, and the FBI only manages to capture his unconscious body. Unfortunately, he has already prepared the cell with his latest victim.
Because of her empathetic personality, scientists choose Catherine Dean (okay, do I have to say who it is?) to infiltrate the mind of Carl and discover the location of his latest victim. Not only is Carl's mind disturbingly violent and sexual, it is also very graphic. Several psychedelic landscapes in the insides of Carl's brain, some quick "in-and-out" affairs and a customary "twist" later, the film ends on a good note.
The Cell is a love/hate movie - either you love it or you hate it. Despite being probably one of the most visually stimulating films ever made, it will be too much for many viewers - some will not understand the story that combines serial killers with mind-probing, some will not understand the complex emotions of the film, and the rest will not understand why they're watching J Lo doing all this. Yet, it's one of those engrossing films that convey more through metaphoric symbolism than through dialogues or dance numbers. And as this coalesces with the horrifically scathing soundtrack, the film literally takes on a life of its own.
The flick is an array of visuals and sounds, blended together so well that you feel like you're experiencing a dream... but quite unlike the one in "What Dreams May Come". And that is not the only movie (that I can think of) that inspired the director, Tarsem Singh, either. The film also appears to be a graft of "The Silence Of The Lambs" on to "The Matrix".
The bottom line: A must watch, but before that, stuff J Lo in "The Cell" and throw
the keys away.