Catharine Deane (Jennifer Lopez) is a psychotherapist who is part of a high-tech new treatment which allows her to literally enter the mind of her patients. Her experience in this method takes an unexpected turn when an FBI agent (Vince Vaughan) comes to ask for a desperate favour. They had just tracked down a notorious serial killer, Carl Stargher (Vincent D'Onofrio), whose abducts women one at a time and places them in a secret cell where they are kept for about 40 hours until they are slowly drowned. Unfortunately, the killer has fallen into an irrevocable coma which means he cannot confess where he has taken his latest victim before she dies. Now, Catherine Deane must compete against time to explore the twisted mind of the killer to get the information she needs, but Stargher's deranged personality poses dangers that threaten to defeat her.
The first 40 minutes of The Cell are promising, a lot of great ideas are brought up, but once Deane enters Stargher's mind, the film becomes a parade of incoherent and unrestrained images, supposed to represent what a damaged mind is. That's not to say the visuals aren't good, some of them are dazzling, but they have no effect on the film whatsoever (One scene where a horse is cut up by razor sharp glass coming from the ceiling above it is merely laughable).Jennifer Lopez makes the most of her role (ie, walking around looking sexy) and Vince Vaughan is miscast once again. The best performance comes from D'Onofrio as the disturbed serial killer, who is truly creepy and believable.
Tarsem shows that he has talent with visuals, all he needs is a coherent screenplay to match his flair. Unfortunately, The Cell ends up like a wierd mind-trip, complete with strange vines growing out of the screen.
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