“Phone Booth” (2002)

Today, we take a look at the thriller Phone Booth with Colin Farrell and Kiefer Sutherland. I just want to say right away the Kiefer makes this movie and without him it probably wouldn’t be anything but some dude in a phone booth. The titular phone booth is in Manhattan and it’s the last enclosed one in the city. Verizon, (I wonder how much they paid?), is going to tear it down within the next couple of weeks.

Anyhoo, Colin Farrell plays Stu, a publicist who is more sleazy than… Stu tries to shanghai all these different deals including the whitest rapper ever Q. He goes to the phone booth every day to call Pam played by, pre Tom Cruise insane, Katie Holmes. But Stu is already married to Kelly, oh the drama! Guess who doesn’t like Stu fantasizing about cheating, Kiefer aka The Caller. See, Kiefer is such a BAMF he doesn’t even need a character name.

Kiefer sends Stu a pizza but Colin tells the delivery guy to fuck off. And so begins Phone Booth’s obsession with “fuck”. I’m not sure how many times they say it, but Shaun of the Dead says it 77 time so it has to be around there or more. Anyway, Kiefer calls Stu and tells him if he hangs up he’ll kill him. Stu doesn’t believe him at first, but then the gun is cocked. Now Stu believes Kiefer, muhahahaa! Turns out Kiefer is a sort of avenging sniper. He kills people who he feels did some terrible crime against humanity. He watches everyone a lot and decides who he will follow and put to the test. It’s Stu’s turn. Kiefer then proceeds to mind-fuck Stu for the next half-hour or so until some hookers need to use the booth. Stu tells them to fuck off as well and that pisses them off royally. If there is one lesson to be learned from Phone Booth it is, “Don’t piss off hookers”. Especially if they have a pimp like Leon. Leon comes over and tells Stu to get out of the booth. Stu tries to pay him off and yadda, yadda, yadda, Leon starts smashing the booth with a baseball bat. But Kiefer, being a helpful psycho sniper, kills Leon.

The hookers flip out and the police arrive. It’s now a standoff between Stu and half the NYPD. At the head of the cops is Forest Whitaker playing Ed Raimi. Raimi tries to talk Stu out of the booth, but Kiefer tells Stu he’ll kill him if he gets to close. He then makes Stu insult Raimi’s sexual performance and hilarity insues. Seriously it’s hard not to crack up with Kiefer. Kelly is brought down, news teams come down and Stu is now the number one story in the city. Stu manages to covertly call Kelly and gets everyone to realize this is a sniper situation. By tracing Kiefer’s call to Kelly earlier they have his position.

The movie goes for an oscar when Stu breaks down to Kelly and confesses everything he’s done. This is after Kiefer tells him to choose between Kelly and Pam. The SWAT team breaks into the hotel room and find the rifle and *Gasp* the pizza guy, apparentley the sniper. Meanwhile Stu rushed out of the booth yelling for Kiefer to shoot him instead of Pam or Kelly. The police take Stu down with a rubber bullet. Stu is put into an ambulance for the bullet hit and the bullet to the ear that Kiefer gave him earlier for calling 911. “Are you in need of immediate police or emergency services Stuart?!?” But for the final twist, as Stu is feeling the dose of painkiller kicking in, Kiefer comes up and says he wanted to say good-bye, and sorry for the pizza guy. So Kiefer gets away with it to go off and target some other low-life and Stu and Kelly are reunited. See, sometimes snipers can change lives for the better. A lot of people say this movie sucks but the main reason is probably that Phone Booth is extremely dialogue driven. But that’s the best thing, Kiefer just mentally whomping Colin Farrell’s ass. He kicks ass as much as when he’s Jack Bauer, but you only see him for three minutes in the whole movie! Oh, one more amusing anecdote; My DVD of Phone Booth has this weird flaw where all the cell phone conversations have only Colin Farrell’s audio and not the other party in the audio. Art imitating life huh?

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