ZERO STARS/**** Image B Sound B Extras D
starring Tessie Santiago, Chris Bruno, Frank Whaley
screenplay by Lawrence Silverstein & Alex Barder and Erik Klein and Rob Rinow
directed by Tim Iacofano
by Walter Chaw Blaringly shot on digital video so that the whole of this shitstorm looks like someone's bat mitzvah, The Cell 2's only reason for existing appears to be to clarify just how underestimated is Tarsem's original The Cell. This dtv trainwreck substitutes Jennifer Lopez with another Latina, Tessie Santiago, seemingly because the producers thought it the best way to soften the blow of the realization that this is an otherwise-unfilmable script retrofitted to launch a franchise. Santiago, a kind of Eva Longoria/Sandra Bullock hybrid, is Maya, the requisite "seer" in another serial-killer intrigue full to bursting with macho exchanges between the men and hysterical exchanges between Maya and anyone else. Tortured by not having thwarted Jigsaw-like murderer The Cusp three years prior, she's brought back on the case not merely because she's a psychic or something, but also because she was The Cusp's only fish that got away, thus giving her unique, erm, insight? Who knows? The Cusp's MO, see, is to repeatedly kill and revive his victims, which actually explains both Frank Whaley's appearance in this thing and what happens to his career by being in it. Irony. They should've called it "The Cell 2: Poor Frank Whaley."