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Overall Rating
2.17

Awesome: 7.94%
Worth A Look: 3.17%
Average: 25.4%
Pretty Bad: 25.4%
Total Crap38.1%

7 reviews, 21 user ratings


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Premonition (2007)
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by Peter Sobczynski

"a.k.a. "Martha Stewart's 'Final Destination'"
1 stars

If you thought that last year’s “The Lake House,” the dismal time-traveling romantic drama that featured Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves dealing with a mysterious rift in the time-space continuum with what could only be described as “dull surprise,” was just too logical and coherent for your tastes, perhaps Bullock’s latest film, “Premonition,” will be more up your alley. This is the kind of mess that offers up a story so utterly inexplicable on even the most fundamental levels of storytelling that it is a wonder that it managed to get written, financed, filmed and released without anyone involved with the production apparently noticing that all their efforts were going into a project that simply makes no sense.

After a brief prologue that does absolutely nothing other than firmly establish to viewers that Sandra Bullock is indeed in the film, the story opens as we observe happy housewife Linda Hanson (Bullock) as she goes about the ordinary duties of the day–dropping off her adorable daughters (Shyann McClure and Courtney Taylor Burness), shopping with best friend Annie (Nia Long, who seems to appear in the movie only to assure us that Bullock’s character likes black people since she serves no other purpose to speak of) and puttering around the house. These duties are so extraordinarily ordinary and uneventful that we know that Linda’s life is about to be turned upside-down for good. A few seconds later, the town’s sheriff appears at the door to tell her that husband Jim (Julian McMahon) has just been killed in a car accident. (Of course, he doesn’t offer any details or anything–just the brief bit of needed exposition and he is on his way.) Needless to say, Linda is devastated and brings her mom (Kate Nelligan, who is so completely wasted that she make Nia Long look like an integral part of the proceedings by comparison) over to help her break the news to the kids. However, when Linda wakes up the next morning, she is surprised to discover that Mom is nowhere to be found and is even more surprised to discover Jim in the kitchen tucking into his breakfast.

Linda is relieved and writes off the thing about Jim being dead as nothing more than an especially vivid bad dream. However, when she wakes up the next morning, Jim is once again dead, everyone is planning for the funeral and her older daughter’s face has been mysteriously sliced up. For a while, Linda thinks that she is going crazy and even goes so far as to see a psychiatrist (Peter Stormare, in the film’s lone burst of inspiration) but she eventually deduces that she has become unstuck in time, to steal a phrase from Kurt Vonnegut (who hopefully won’t be too upset over being linked to something as silly as this), and is bouncing back and forth between rumpus rooms and rubber rooms in the days immediately before and after the accident. That no rational explanation for why this is happening to her is probably to be expected–what is unexpected is that Linda herself seems curiously uninterested about the predicament that she has become enmeshed in. Frankly, she seems more perturbed about her suspicions that Jim may be having an affair with the new office cutie (Amber Valetta) than the fact that her husband is about to die–only in the last reel does she finally decide to try to do something to prevent it from happening. (Of course, she may just be taking cues from Jim, who is so unfazed when she tells him what has happened that he never even bothers to ask her how he supposedly dies.) It all concludes with a shocking twist that could be variously described as “tragically ironic,” “ironically tragic” or “crashingly obvious.”

I am fully aware that trying to apply external logic to anything dealing with time travel or alternate realities is an exercise in futility that usually ends up with one’s head going “POP” in classic “Scanners” fashion. What I do ask is that it at least maintains a certain internal logic that shows that the filmmakers have a clear idea of what they are doing and aren’t merely slapping stuff together without rhyme or reason. In the case of “Premonition,” it appears that screenwriter Bill Kelly came up with the one-line premise–which is basically “Donnie Darko” reconceived as a Lifetime Original Movie–and then never bothered to develop it into a real story. The film spends so much time trying to tie up all the little loose ends–early (or is it later?) in the film, Linda looks for a page in the phone book and finds that it has been ripped out and later (or is it earlier?) we see that she tore it out herself–that it leaves the big ones dangling for everyone to see. Take the development involving the daughter whose face has been sliced up by broken glass. This was clearly shoehorned into the plot to serve as a shorthand way of letting us in the audience know where we are in the timeframe. Fine (if perhaps a little on the tacky side) but the film screws that up by showing us the girl with her face unmarked at a point in time after she had her accident. This is the kind of continuity gaffe that one usually encounters in films directed by Uwe Boll and it demonstrates nothing but utter contempt for the audience. My only guess is that director Mennan Yapo must have figured that audiences would be so mystified by the plot as a whole–this is the kind of film where a character sits down to write out an elaborate timeline for the benefit of everyone watching and it still doesn’t help a bit–that they would hardly take notice of one specific flagrant inconsistency.

In an especially desperate last-ditch attempt to lend weight and meaning to a screenplay devoid of both, the final reels of “Premonition” take a bizarre turn by sending Linda off to church to see to see the local priest, who suggests that her problems may stem from a vaguely defined lack of “faith.” Although this scene does inspire the single funniest line of dialogue (after regaling Linda with tales of ancient premonitions come true, he then says, “Let’s skip ahead to the 20th century”), it comes from out of nowhere–because the idea of Linda’s lack of faith has not even been hinted at up until this point–and then disappears again just as quickly. Frankly, it seems as if this sequence were jammed into the film at a late date in order to give it the kind of soothing-yet-non-specific spiritual edge that fans of Oprah might embrace. However, by including it in such a heavy-handed manner and then not really dealing with it in any meaningful way, it throws an already out-of-whack story further off-balance and lends an especially weirdo touch to both the finale (in which the underlying message now seems to be that if you don’t own a Bluetooth device, God is going to kill you) and one of the most unconvincing and blatantly tacked-on epilogues that I can ever recall seeing.

With some films, you leave the theater arguing your interpretation of the plot with your friends while they offer up their own views. In the case of “Premonition”, the only arguments that are likely to occur will no doubt revolve around a.) whether the film consists of hundreds of normal-sized plot holes or one giant-sized mega-hole that encompasses all of the inconsistencies and lapses of judgement and b.) whether the film as a whole is stupider as it unfolds before your eyes or in hindsight as you put together all of the loose ends and discover that they add up to something even dumber than “The Number 23.”

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=15606&reviewer=389
originally posted: 03/16/07 15:05:04
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User Comments

5/07/11 Nikki Smith I enjoyed this film, and reccomend it to all of my friends. Sandra Bullock is so awesome!! 5 stars
6/12/10 PAUL SHORTT DREARY SUPERNATURAL THRILLER 1 stars
12/12/08 Richard Remington I can't believe she went wacko and got him killed, should have laid off the booze and pills 5 stars
11/13/08 mr.mike Worthwhile till about the halfway point , then drops like a stone. 3 stars
10/08/08 Shaun Wallner I really enjoyed this film. 5 stars
5/24/08 R>A>Keeler Sandra desperately need someone to tell her "NO" when something like this script comes alon 2 stars
1/26/08 Pamela White plot twisted but clues have holes in them 3 stars
10/23/07 mike this movie was terrible but not even close to the number 23 to being the worst of 2007! 1 stars
10/18/07 Joey So Disappointed in Sandra Bullock! I Love Her, but What Was This Crap? 1 stars
9/15/07 Marty never believed the chars actions or dialogue. why is she a timetraveler? 2 stars
9/08/07 Alice Sandra=one of the few real women on the screen, ok (rent) movie ! 4 stars
8/12/07 Joe Smaltz tedium turned into irritation, followed by Huh? 1 stars
8/01/07 Tamatha Burrus Not Bad but I wished I had waited till it came on TV. 3 stars
7/31/07 Monday Morning This wouldn't have even been a "just average" TV show. Save your $$ & time. 2 stars
7/27/07 Gail One of the most confusing & illogical movies yet 1 stars
6/15/07 Austin wertman sucked 1 stars
4/05/07 William Goss Initially intriguing, but falls apart with each passing day, down to just tacky final shot. 2 stars
3/27/07 fools♫gold Trickistothinkofwhetherthechick"loved"thelyingprick!Seehowshestressedcareforkidsattheend! 5 stars
3/22/07 Lori excellent 5 stars
3/21/07 Dan's girlfriend Gutsy hunky call instead of describing the woman. He has to cure 3 diseases, come on. 4 stars
3/21/07 James Dunn Not as bad as I thought it would be, althought the ending just fell apart. Predictable. 3 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  16-Mar-2007 (PG-13)
  DVD: 17-Jul-2007

UK
  16-Mar-2007 (12A)
  DVD: 16-Jul-2007

Australia
  19-Jul-2007


Directed by
  Mennan Yapo

Written by
  Bill Kelly

Cast
  Sandra Bullock
  Julian McMahon
  Nia Long
  Kate Nelligan
  Amber Valetta
  Peter Stormare



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