Saturday, December 19, 2009

“Premonition” – I predict this movie review will be long.

When I was in high school, I saw City of Angels on a date with my then- girlfriend. It wasn’t a terrible movie… until the end. I remember thinking that Nicholas Cage was going to die after becoming human. It would have been ironic and would have set up an interesting scene with his buddy to close out the film. What we got instead was Meg Ryan killed by a truck (not an entirely unpleasant notion) and Nicholas Cage being given the ultimate finger by God and having to live out the rest of his life alone and broken. It was a shitty ending, but it least it invoked an emotion from the audience. I think this is what the writer of “Premonition” was trying to do, but failed miserably. Not only did the ending suck, but I didn’t even care that the main character got screwed.

Sandra Bullock played the lead role in this mess, a bored housewife with two kids and a workaholic husband. We see her going about her daily routine, when a cop tells her that her husband was killed in a car accident. Her mom comes over to console her and she goes to sleep. Up to this point, the producer and director have been trying to establish things that will come back later. This includes the extremely subtle title of the movie. When she wakes up, it’s a couple of days earlier and her husband is no longer dead. The movie continues in this fashion, jumping her from after her husband’s death to before her husband’s death, each time being a different day. Apparently, this was too much for the makers of this movie to handle.

After creating the first two days (parts) of this movie, they should have stopped and taken notes. They ignored many things they set up and failed to explain when things changed. This didn’t help the audience, as we were continually wondering what day it actually was for her. We also wondered why the fuck (we were getting angry about this) she wasn’t leaving clues for herself as she jumped around. The closest she came was in making a chart of the week, detailing what had happened so far. Not only does this chart seem to be pointless, but she leaves it underneath the puzzle that her kids and mother were working on earlier in the movie. How did they not notice this huge piece of paper that would have been making noise as they pressed on it? I don’t know if this was just laziness or forgetfulness by the writers.

If there’s one thing I hate in movies, especially movies like this, it’s glaring inconsistencies, the largest one being the face of her daughter. Before she finds out her husband is dead, we see Bullock putting stickers on the window of the door. We find out later, this is to make it easy to see the door. Huh? How stupid are these people? Did the birds from the beer commercial clean this glass? Later, there is a storm and her daughter runs through house, for no reason we can tell, and crashes through the window, slicing up her face. I guess they are that stupid, since she was escaping from the scary lightning and thunder by running out into it. What’s fucked up about this is that she doesn’t have these cuts on a later day; earlier in the movie (I told you this thing was a confusing mess). This was a large part of the plot and I can’t figure out what was supposed to have happened. I could go on about all of the major and minor inconsistencies, but I’m sure you get the point. Let’s just say that some things change and others remain the same and we have no fucking clue why.

Like this movie, I started out talking about the end and must now come back to it. (Warning: Plot Spoiler). We eventually learn that her husband was going to cheat on her and she knows about the affair, but that she still loves him enough to try to save his life. After all, that’s what this movie is supposed to be about; a premonition of her husband’s death and her ability to do something about it (see where this is going yet?). Instead, she ends up causing his death, and is pregnant from their last night together, which was three days before his death, I think. She’s not upset about it and we’re left wondering why they let her out of the straight-jacket (she was committed and drugged earlier in the film, but after his death). It’s like the producers just gave up. Maybe they knew that they had created such a convoluted, confusing mess, that they just wanted to end it. My wife thought that it would turn out the husband had faked his death. This would have been a great ending, but that’s too much to expect from Hollywood these days. What they should have done was never have attempted making a movie that was one part “Memento” and two parts Quentin Tarantino. Or they could have watched “City of Angels” and killed themselves.

Rating: Ask for seven dollars back. You’ll be too confused to remember how much you actually spent.

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