was first proposed to Alfred Hitchcock thirty years ago and apparently he
was interested. Good thing he
didnít make it because the last good movie he made was before Psycho in
1960. After Psycho everything
was second rate.
This film had a
lot of big actors who expressed interest, signed up, then bailed.
Then Colin Farrell signed up and made it but they had to keep it in
the can until Farrell became better known.
After he established himself in The Recruit and Daredevil, it was
ready to be released. Then Iraq
happened and it had to be shelved again.
Now itís finally out.
Stu Shepherd (Farrell)
is an egotistical, smarmy PR guy a la Tony Curtis in Sweet Smell of Success,
who uses a phone booth to hit on a girl so his wife wonít see the calls on
his cell phone bill. After
hanging up after making his daily call to his girl friend, the phone rings
and he answers. The Caller (Kiefer Sutherland) tells Stu heís got a gun
trained on him and if he hangs up, heís dead.
The rest of the movie is Shepherd trying to survive in what appears
to be an impossible situation.
The Caller shoots
a passer by to establish his bona fides.
The cops come, headed by Forest Whitaker, and they think Stu has a
gun and that he shot the passerby. Stu
is in a pickle, trapped in the phone booth in front of the cops and a huge,
gathering crowd on a major New York City street.
The entire film
takes place in the phone booth. Not
an easy task, it is extremely well directed by Joel Schumacher, from a good
script by Larry Cohen. Farrell
is spectacular. Sutherlandís
voice is scary and threatening in its calmness. This is a believable,
entertaining, tense, well-made, well acted 80-minute movie that does not
telegraph its ending.
April 12, 2003