On the Hollywood thriller Richter scale, Phone Booth doesn’t mess around and it’s certainly not what you’d expect from a story rumored to be an unmade Hitchcock scenario. After a curious bit of MTV business (from a satellite in orbit to the phone lines running above and beneath Times Square: communication = lots of noise!), bad-ass NYC publicist Stu Shepard (Colin Farrell doing a mean Mexican-Irish accent) incurs the wrath of God (think of the Moviefone operator, only more deep-throated) while standing inside a phone booth on 53rd Street and 8th Avenue. Because Joel Schumacher hardly leaves Farrell’s face, all communication between Stu and those outside his direct line of vision occurs via Picture in Picture (read: lazy and annoying). Kiefer Sutherland’s preening voice of reason never cracks though he purportedly has his finger on a rifle’s trigger for some 80-odd minutes straight. For any critic ever shut out of an advanced screening, you already know that publicists can be scumbags. Therefore, take Phone Booth as an easy, breezy, dopey act of contrition. May have worked better as an ’80s parable or with Larry Cohen behind the camera but it gets the juices pumping nonetheless (gotta love those 8th Avenue whores rattling Stu’s booth). Indeed, the closest point of comparison may be a quickie blowjob: lots of bang for your buck if not quickly forgotten.
- Joel Schumacher
- Larry Cohen
- Colin Farrell, Kiefer Sutherland, Forest Whitaker, Radha Mitchell, Paula Jai Parker, Arian Waring Ash, Katie Holmes
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