We gave it a C+
Black, slick, and shallow as a puddle of oil comes The Cell, a serial killer entry from yet another ”one name only please” MTV refugee, Tarsem. The plot is a Frankenstein of all the post ”Manhunter” conventions: Madman Carl Stargher (Vincent D’Onofrio) kidnaps women and stores them in a subterranean glass cell, before drowning them and mutilating the corpses.
On his trail is a tortured, stubbly G man (Vince Vaughn), who finds his half monster/ half man in a coma, unable to reveal the location of his latest trapped but alive victim. Then, through a totally preposterous twist of virtual reality, Jennifer Lopez’s kiddie shrink is enlisted to enter the psychopath’s mind, snooping around his synapses for clues.
It’s as silly as it sounds, but the visuals are so astonishing — all Central Asian swirls, Mexican saints, and baroque tortures. But without niceties like character development, plot, and story savvy that can be sustained longer than mere minutes, the visual feast just leaves you hungry for someone more accomplished to whip something other than style out of this piffle.