The Cell (2000)

Rating: ***
Release Date: 8/18/00
Director: Tarsem Singh
Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Vince Vaughn

A visually stunning orgasm of fantastic imagery. Remember "Dreamscape" (1984)? This film takes dream therapy to the next level, as psychologist Catherine Deane (sexy Jennifer Lopez) enters the mind of a catatonic schizophrenic serial killer in an attempt to determine where he hid his latest victim, whose time is quickly running out. When the experience overwhelms her, she gets lost in the killer's mind and someone else has to dive in to try and bring her back out. That someone is FBI agent Peter Novak (Vince Vaughn), who has been investigating the case for some time and knows the killer's grisly and disturbing M.O. better than anyone.

Everything that takes place in the dreamscape is fabulous, and much like "Dreamscape," I wish more time was spent in that alternate reality. And while all of the religious imagery is striking, it's not nearly as shocking as I was initially lead to believe. (critics called Jennifer Lopez's portrayal of the virgin Mary "provocative," whereas I found it hardly noteworthy) The effects are extremely good, creating a tense and frightening atmosphere that sets the tone of the film. Jennifer Lopez does an adequate job with her role, but much like the rest of the film, her visual appeal is more interesting than what's going on in the story. Definitely a disturbing film, and especially if you know anyone who has been a victim of sexual crime.