"You don’t have to watch the trailer to tell that this movie’s going to suck"
German director Mennan Yapo (“Soundless”) uses his American debut to demonstrate how not to make a thriller. “Premonition” is a time-shifting mess that’s devoid of any sensation other than tedium or disbelief. Treading the same territory that more accomplished filmmakers like Christopher Nolan (“Memento”) and Harold Ramis (“Groundhog Day”) have covered before, “Premonition” gives viewers a nagging feeling they could be renting something better.The ever-likable Sandra Bullock stars as a housewife named Linda Hanson, who discovers that her husband Jim (Julian McMahon, “Nip/Tuck”) has just died in a horrific auto accident. Before she can grasp what has happened, she wakes up the next day to see hunky Jim taking a shower.
The trouble is that whenever she awakens, she has little idea of whether Jim’s death or his continued existence is real because the situation changes every morning.
The script credited to Billy Kelly attempts to tease viewers into guessing what’s actually happening to Linda’s world, but after a while it’s difficult to care. McMahon, who at least gets credit for successfully hiding his Australian accent, is flat out dull.
This is a shame because the role is potentially juicy. In each day that we encounter him, he could change radically, making it easier to care if she could tell if he is living or dead. As it is, Bullock and her sunny presence easily upstage the stolid McMahon.
The rest of the supporting cast seems equally bland, which is unfortunate considering that the accomplished Kate Nelligan (“The Prince of Tides”) is wasted as Linda’s mother.
Probably sensing that Nelson’s script has sketchy logic, Yapo attempts put viewers on edge by cranking up the dissonant music. Instead creating chills, the results are unintentional giggling. In a movie like this, the viewers should never feel like they are ahead of the bewildered protagonist.
Yapo also imbues the story with a gushy sentimentality that makes the ending sappy and perfunctory. It’s almost as if Nelson rolled dice to determine the ending.Bullock has overcome dozens of similar turkeys in her career. For example, it would be nice to be able to forget “Speed 2: Cruise Control.” Yapo, however, will have to cure cancer, AIDS and leprosy before viewers will forgive him for this movie.