Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

To be completely honest with you good people out there I vaguely remember Tarsem Singh’s ‘The Cell’ back in 2000 outside of recalling it being a very pretty movie and I also remember its star being even prettier. What I don’t remember is thinking that the movie was dying for a ten year old sequel. Of course that was a while ago and I might’ve been banging on pots and pans yelling for just this sort of thing, so with the recipe for a ‘Cell’ movie being 1-part hot Latin American woman, 1-part psychic powers and 1-part deranged serial killer, mix it all up… and a new ‘Cell’ movie is born.

Today’s hot Latin woman with psychic powers running down a serial killer is the amazingly slinky actress Tessie Santiago, as the character of Maya, assisting the FBI in search of the deranged serial killer ‘The Cusp’. They call him The Cusp because he kills his victims only to resuscitate them over and over again until he gets bored and then just forcibly removes their hearts. Asshole. Even though I do get the whole ‘cusp’ thing it is still the weakest movie name for a serial killer since they had the guy they called ‘The Laugh’ in the movie ‘Amusement’. Anyway, Maya and her FBI homies were this close to catching this clown until he sensed Maya’s presence then escalated the whole heart removal process and ran off like a sissy, taunting poor Maya along the way.

A year later The Cusp has returned to some small Podunk town and snatched another victim after we view this woman gratuitously was having sex with her boyfriend. You would think that this ‘boyfriend’ of hers after receiving this gift would at least walk the girl out to her car on this cold snowy night… but no, he apparently had to take a nap. Asshole. The FBI wants Maya back on the case, Maya isn’t up to it but they drag her back into the game. The girl taken was niece of local Sheriff Harris, played by Chris Bruno who I think was wearing the exact same Sheriff’s uniform he used to sport in that ‘Dead Zone’ TV series. Saved a few bucks on wardrobe with that move.

So our slinky psychic and the grizzled cop must team up to save his niece from this jerk of a serial killer, a serial killer Maya knows quite well since she was his first victim and is the reason she has these wacky psychic powers in the first place. The question is ‘Why can’t Maya see this killer’s face?’ Why indeed. This will all lead to some plot twist and some plot turns and a surprise of an ending. At least in theory.

Now don’t get me wrong here because I’m not going to tell you that ‘The Cell 2’ was a good movie because it wasn’t. It was inane, filled with stupid characters doing stupid things, it was predictable, unintentionally funny at times and if these alleged FBI agents weren’t the worst movie FBI agents of all time then I don’t know what movie with FBI agents could possibly hold this spot. The movie just wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected it to be. As far as the unintended humor, one of the real gems was the FBI chief on his knees begging Maya to come out of retirement and help them with the investigation, and when she finally gets in the investigation this same FBI clown chimed in five minutes later with the old ‘You’re Too Close! I’m pulling you OUT!’ line. That was pretty funny. These FBI agents didn’t do anything investigative-like in this movie, and I’m thinking even the worst cop could’ve stitched together a few basic clues and figured out who this cat is that has killed a whopping 23 hotties up to this point.

I hate to SPOIL it for you, but who really didn’t know once Frank Whaley showed up in this movie that he was the serial killer. It’s kind of what the actor does now. The good thing is that Frank Whaley makes for a pretty hateful serial killer and was probably the best thing about this movie. Other things which at least made the movie watchable were watching Tessie Santiago move, if not so much watching her act, the cheesy special effects and a rather thrilling helicopter chase scene.

By the time it comes to our conclusion, ‘The Cell 2’ loses its tenuous grip on being halfway lucid with some wacky, completely off the wall psychic stuff going on and the usual mano-a-mano stare down ending which came about as predictably as one would imagine it would, but it was ultimately all tolerable. I know saying a movie is tolerable is not a glowing recommendation of any kind but it’s the best I can do right now, and considering what we’ve seen in the past, right about know we’ll gladly take tolerable and run with it.

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