Phone Booth

Film

 

Time Out says

As a publicist, Stu Shepard (Farrell) is one of those dubious characters who negotiate media access on behalf of celebrity clients. When he calls, editors flinch. He strides down Broadway as if he owns it. But when he stops to answer a public phone, Stu has no way of knowing the bell tolls for him. At the other end is a sniper who takes a perverse glee in his abject humiliation. A collateral victim of the Washington sniper in 2002 (Fox postponed its US release), the film can't compete with real life for dramatic intrigue, but it's unusual to see a Hollywood movie with such a spare conceit, played out in real time, virtually on one location, with Farrell front and centre throughout. Regrettably, Schumacher doesn't have the rigour for such unities, chucking in cutaways and split-screen, apparently shooting most of the scenes on four cameras. He's like Keanu in Speed, terrified that if he stops moving the whole thing will go up. You can imagine that screenwriter Larry Cohen - a cult film-maker in his own right (It's Alive) who originally pitched this to Alfred Hitchcock 30 years ago - would have made more sadistic mischief with the transformation of a phone booth into a confessional, shredding the professional liar and manipulator of his deceit and vanity. Some of this remains, but in building a big budget vehicle for the slickly impersonal Farrell, Schumacher neglects to make us believe any of its 81 minutes.
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Release details

UK release:

2002

Duration:

81 mins

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