Cellular (film)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Cellular is a 2004 American action crime thriller film directed by David R. Ellis and starring Jason Statham, Kim Basinger, Chris Evans, and William H. Macy. The screenplay was written by Chris Morgan, Larry Cohen, and J. Mackye Gruber (not credited).


Jessica Martin (Kim Basinger), a high school biology teacher, takes her son Ricky to the bus stop for school. After she returns home, several men break into her house and kill her housekeeper. The men kidnap Jessica and confine her in the attic of their safe house. Ethan Greer (Jason Statham), the group leader, smashes the attic's telephone. Jessica uses the wires of the broken phone and contacts the random number of Ryan (Chris Evans), a carefree young man who has just been dumped by his girlfriend, Chloe, (Jessica Biel).

Jessica persuades Ryan to go to the police station, where he reports to Sergeant Bob Mooney (William H. Macy). When a fight between several police officers and apprehended gang members breaks out, Mooney is forced to intervene and tells Ryan to report the kidnapping to the robbery-homicide division. When Jessica denies knowledge of information Ethan wants, he leaves to get Ricky. Overhearing them, Ryan gets to Ricky's school, only to see the boy kidnapped. He hijacks a security officer's car and gives chase. When his phone battery runs out, he takes the gun in the car, holds up a store and demands a charger.

Deciding to check on Ryan's kidnapping claim, Mooney visits Jessica's house. He meets Dana Bayback (Valerie Cruz), the kidnappers' accomplice, posing as Jessica. Believing the claim is a false alarm, Mooney leaves. With Ricky in tow, Ethan returns and asks Jessica about a place her husband Craig mentioned, "The Left Field", and Jessica confesses that it is a bar at the Los Angeles International Airport.

A cross-connection between phone lines causes Ryan to rob a nearby lawyer's cellphone and car to maintain connection. At the airport, Ryan plants the gun on one of the kidnappers, triggering the alarm. When security intervenes, the kidnappers are revealed to be police officers and they proceed to apprehend Craig. After viewing a news report of Ryan holding up a store for a charger, Mooney calls Jessica's home. He notices the voice on the answering machine is different from that of the woman he met.

The kidnappers escort Craig to his safe deposit box at a bank to retrieve a bag. Ryan intervenes and flees with the bag, but drops the lawyer's cellphone while being chased by the kidnappers. When Ryan opens Craig's bag, he finds Craig's video camera, on which Craig unintentionally filmed LAPD Detectives Ethan, Mad Dog, Dimitri, Bayback, Deason, and Jack Tanner (Noah Emmerich), robbing and murdering two drug dealers, marking them as dirty cops.

Ryan steals the lawyer's car from the impound lot and retrieves his own cellphone. Mooney returns to the Martin residence, where he kills Bayback in self-defense when she shoots at him. Back at the safe house, Mad Dog learns that Jessica has been trying to contact help and attacks her. Jessica purposely cuts his brachial artery, and he bleeds to death in seconds. Before Jessica and Ricky can escape, Ethan's gang returns with Craig and are about to execute the family when Ryan contacts Ethan and makes a deal: the videotape in exchange for the Martin family at the Santa Monica Pier.

At the pier, Ryan disguises himself but is inadvertently exposed by Chloe. Tanner sends Mooney away for medical attention, arrests Ryan and brings him to Ethan. Ethan destroys the videotape, and Tanner radios the order to execute the Martins; however, Mooney overhears the transmission. Ryan escapes, following a distraction by his friend Chad. Mooney overpowers Dimitri and handcuffs him, then returns to the pier. Tanner and Ethan confront Ryan in a boathouse where Ryan knocks out Tanner. Ethan tries to kill Ryan, but Mooney shows up. After a brief chase, Ryan notices Ethan has circled behind Mooney and calls Ethan's cell phone. The phone's ring betrays Ethan's position, and Mooney shoots him.

Jessica strangles Deason with her handcuff chain in the van, then frees her husband and son. However, Deason was merely stunned and aims his gun at them. Ryan intervenes and slams Deason head in the car door. While Ryan and Mooney are being treated by medics, Tanner is also exposed, because Ryan had copied the video recording onto his cellphone. Jessica finally meets Ryan, the man who risked his life to save her family. When she tells him she doesn't know how to thank him, Ryan humorously tells her to never call him again.

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