Posted October 13, 2007on:
I read an online review once that refused to even name the thing (game, in this case, I believe) that he was ranting about, for fear that someone might be standing in a store, looking at a shelf, and remember only that he had mentioned the game, not whether it was good or bad, and pick it up. No publicity being the worst consequence of sucking, perhaps….
In spite of that, I’m going to rant briefly. Usually I’m pretty accepting of books and movies. I rarely really despise them. (Or perhaps I only used to be that way. Maybe I’m growing curmudgeonly in my old age. Creak.) But Premonition! It sucked! I hate it! I DO NOT recommend it! Now I’ll tell you a little of why. Also, I’m going to totally spoil the movie, because it sucks and you shouldn’t watch it anyway. But just to be fair, I’m warning you now.
First of all, I probably shouldn’t watch scary/suspense movies anyway. (Which I didn’t realize this was.) They give me the back-creeps. Y’know? Where the fear between your shoulderblades is prickling so hard that you can barely walk to your room without pressing your back up against the wall? What good that would do if the proverbial bump-in-the-night were to approach, I don’t know, but it feels slightly better. ANYWAY. And I thought Sandra Bullock actually did a pretty good job in it, with a tough role not only emotionally, but dude, she was in like every. single. shot. Or close enough. (And dude! she was married to Victor von Doom! From the Fantastic Four. That was weird at first. Though he did well too and was really perfect for his role – charming and appealing and a bit shady. And in the gag reel they’re both way funny.)
I think I sort of understand what they were trying to do, emotionally, with the story. But the story, the story! It was a mess. Huge, mac-truck plot holes, particularly: why isn’t the girl’s face cut on the first day? And secondly, why doesn’t anyone just ASK HER WHAT HAPPENED (the daughter I mean) before they throw her mom in the loony bin?
Partly the problems are because the concept behind it (woman’s husband dies, then she wakes up the next morning and he’s alive, back and forth, because she’s living the days out of order) is very science-fiction-ish, but they haven’t thought it through logically or at least semi-logically, as would be required in a science fiction novel or movie. (So the whole time part of me is saying: um, you’re DOING IT WRONG.) It’s essentially a form of time travel story, and those are always tricky – you have to decide, basically, can you change the past, or not. And they don’t seem to really have decided in this. (I would say they vote for a resounding NO — but the cut face issue. It’s all stupid.) Anyway, once you start picking it apart and trying to actually understand what HAPPENED, it doesn’t hold up. They were trying to use a sort of supernatural, science fiction tool to tell a particular emotional story (trouble in their marriage, the choices we make about it and the emotional consequences — she could’ve NOT tried to stop him, she could’ve “let him die” and saved herself the emotional grief, yet things apparently turned out better because she tried… THOUGH HOW IS COMPLETELY UNCLEAR. Bah.) and that’s part of what didn’t work for me, as a PZ4 (I swear I’m going to write about that soon), because they didn’t explain THAT part of the story.
Honestly though, a lot of movies nowadays use science fiction/fantasy/speculative fiction type tropes (I believe that’s the right word) as tools in their stories, though they’re not really that genre of movie. And sometimes, even though that part of the plot is clearly a tool and they don’t really “do it right” so to speak, sometimes I don’t mind. So clearly there’s more to my dislike of this particular movie than that. And I think it has to do with the moral/world view behind it. Which was also a bit confused, and anyway it’s a suspense-not-quite-horror thriller, so of course things are bleak! That’s what really makes them horror, isn’t it? So basically… I hate an unhappy ending. And her being pregnant (okay, it was implied, but still) was a cheap trick and annoying and did NOT make it all better. Bah. Most of all — I suppose I take issue with their general view of having a premonition. If you have one (especially in a nice fictional world), especially one as dramatic as hers — shouldn’t you be able to do something about it?
Feh. Don’t see it. If you want to watch a semi-similar concept movie, see Deja Vu. Much, much better, and definitely not horror at all. Also, Denzel is hot.
(Hopefully I will feel better now that I got all that out of my system…)
ETA: I decided what would’ve fixed it — it’s called consistency, ha ha. Seriously though, half the problem is that I was convinced that she should be able to save him, because of the cut face thing, it wasn’t cut before, and then it was afterwards. It should have been set up so that we gradually realize that everything is still falling into place the same way, that there’s basically no way to avoid his death, and THEN had her decide (partly as an effort to save him, and partly because it’s The Right Thing To Do, having faith or whatever) to reconcile, etc, etc. That way — eventually, at the end — it’s clear what the important part was, i.e. the effort, the vulnerability of love and so on.
They should be so grateful that I’ve figured out how to fix their movie for them! Ha ha.
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