Movie Review of Premonition (2007) (spoiler)

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Review #431 of 365
Spoiler Movie Review of Premonition (2007) [PG-13] 110 minutes
WIP™ Scale: (1st viewing $9.50 + 2nd viewing $9.50) / 2 = $9.50
Where Viewed: Colorado Cinemas Cherry Creek 8, Denver, CO
When 2nd Seen: 21 March 2007
Time: 9:30 p.m.
Film's Official WebsiteFilm's Trailer
DVD Release Date: unscheduled


Directed by: Mennan Yapo (Soundless)
Written by: Bill Kelly (Blast from the Past)

Featured Cast (Where You Might Remember Him/Her From):
Sandra Bullock (Infamous) • Julian McMahon ("Nip/Tuck") • Shyann McClure ("House M.D.") • Courtney Taylor Burness (Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus) • Nia Long (Big Momma's House 2) • Marc Macaulay (Miami Vice) • Kate Nelligan (The Cider House Rules) • Irene Ziegler (Runaway Jury) • Amber Valletta (Dead Silence) • Peter Stormare (Nacho Libre)

Soundtrack: order the CD below

Click for 'Review Lite' [a 150-word or less review of this film]
Note: This is SPOILER REVIEW for Premonition. If you would prefer not to know the ending and the gimmicks or how they work, please click here.
I've been chomping at the bit to write this spoiler review. As you know, I do not like spoiler reviews, and I never write one unless I see a movie twice, so people can choose to read the non-spoiler (click here) if they want. Some people love spoilers, and some people never get a chance to see a movie so they'll never know the ending unless they read a spoiler. Also, a second review can give me the opportunity to point out whether a really good film withstands a second viewing.
Ok so here they are, the big secrets of Premonition.

Well, of course, the gimmick, sort of given away by the preview (click the link above to watch it) is that Sandra Bullock's character, Linda Hanson, gets up one Wednesday morning, goes about her routine, and then sees the answering machine with a little flashing light. She plays the cryptic message, and it's from her husband, Jim (Julian McMahon) saying that what he said the other night in front of their girls (that he really loves them and her) is true. Then the message goes to "Someone's calling, is that you?" Then the message cuts off. She calls him, gets no answer, and then goes about her routine again which involves counting items missing from the cabinets and making a grocery shopping list. Now, I should say that the opening scenes during the credits are of the utmost importance in piecing this altogether, so don't be late getting popcorn. So, then the doorbell rings, it's Sheriff Reilly (Marc Macaulay) with grim news that Jim is dead, killed instantly in a car accident yesterday (Tuesday), but they couldn't get to her until today (Wednesday) for some inexplicable reason given the accident was fewer than 20 miles from their home. Maybe they weren't sure who was in the car at the time and given the accident which is seen only at the very, very end of the film, it's hard to know how they eventually did identify the remains. Or what exactly was put into the casket which shows up later in the film. Anyway, of course, Linda is sort of devastated, but in a weird way as if she's sad but not that sad. This is partly Ms Bullock's performance. It's never clear how much of her emotional state is due to misgivings she's had about not really loving her life and Jim and her daughters and the mundane existence she has accepted vs. the loss of Jim. Anyway, she phones people, picks up the girls from school, morosely explains that Daddy won't be coming home, and fortunately Grandma Joanne (Kate Nelligan) is there to help get them into bed. The next morning, which should be Thursday, instead is not Thursday, it's Monday, and she wakes up to find Jim happily alive and raring to get to work to train his new assistant manager, Claire (Amber Valetta) leaving her to take the kids to school. She freaks out a bit because the day before had seemed so real, and now, here's Jim alive and well. She thinks it's Thursday, until he talks about a Monday morning meeting. Then she assumes it must have been a dream. So, for the rest of her days until the end of the film, she will live alternating days of Jim being alive and dead all out of sequence until she finally pieces together what is going on. Jim has plans to have an affair with Claire on Tuesday night at a hotel under the auspices of a business trip. On the way, some how, after making the call to the answering machine, he is killed near mile marker 220 on a local highway not far from their home. Over the course of facing his funeral, her youngest daughter running through a closed sliding glass door and cutting her face in a million places—a cheap trick used by the story and the director to cause doubt as to what's going on because for a time it seems as though only Linda can see the cuts and stitches in her face (and actually everyone can see them quite plainly)—being locked up in a mental hospital , and finding objects around the house out of time sequence, ultimately, she realizes the power to save Jim's life is in her hands. She can drive out there the next time Tuesday rolls around, and save him. Her conscience is torn, of course, because of the dilemma of knowing that Jim was planning to have an affair. What kind of man is he? He's got two incredibly sweet little daughters and a devoted housewife wallowing in the sameness of her routine but apparently committed nonetheless. She visits her local clergyman who explains that throughout history there have been people who claimed to have seen the future and that most were like vessels of emptiness being filled. After that, she knows she's got to save Jim. So, here it goes, be prepared, this is the shocker of the ending, she flees the house on Tuesday morning despite her begging him to wake her up before he leaves (she does this on an earlier day in the week knowing how important it will be later), but he forgets, and takes the girls to school. So, she races to school, finds him already gone, and then out to mile marker 220. She phones him in the middle of him making a call to the answering machine. He's leaving themessage she first heard about him meaning what he said, blah, blah, blah, and this just after having received a call from Claire where he gives her the kiss off and tells her it's not going to happen between them. So, upon seeing Linda's call coming through, he clicks over and talks to her. She tells him she knows about the planned affair, but that she still loves him. He pulls over to let her catch up. The she notices the mile markers and that this is the one where he gets killed and urges him to get out of there. He tries to flip a quick U turn and go back down the road, but he narrowly escapes being side-swiped by an oncoming car. Mile marker 220 is just a piece down a hill. As he is now fine, Linda assumes it's over. She gets out and starts running to Jim's car. Blast, she was wrong, now there's a semi-truck hauling fuel barreling down on his location, and Jim's car is stalled out. 30 seconds later, Jim and the fuel truck merge in an explosive ball of flames where Jim is decapitated and killed instantly. Yep, you could argue that she put the events in place that led to his death herself. Had she not gone after him, he wouldn't have been pulled into the on-coming lane to be hit by the truck. Hmm. So, what did she do the rest of the day Tuesday now that she knows Jim is dead? The next thing we see is her waking up in the little house she's bought with the insurance money that Jim had tripled that morning of his death out of concerns Linda was raising about her dreams of him dying. As we don't know what she did the rest of the day Tuesday, we don't know what day it was that she experienced next. We don't know if she lived through things again and handled them better (ie. not getting committed to the psychiatric hospital, etc.) I would add this to the list of flies in the ointment as to what doesn't add up about this film's plot. The worst thing, though, is probably, that we never do know why this happened or what Linda's motives really were all along. We don't know if it was the universe's plan to end Jim's life that day no matter what. There are too many unanswered questions, least of which is what's with all the crows and the spooky poster? Well, I applaud people trying to come up with the next Sixth Sense, but good luck. This one's not close.

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Related Products from
Other Projects Featuring Premonition (2007)
Cast Members
Sandra BullockJulian McMahonShyann McClure
Courtney Taylor BurnessNia LongMarc Macaulay
Kate NelliganIrene ZieglerAmber Valletta
Peter Stormare
Mennan Yapo
Bill Kelly
CD Soundtrack
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Premonition (2007) Review-lite [150-word cap]
After Lake House and Premonition, Sandra Bullock should swear off time bending, love-story movies forever. Though Premonition isn't so much about time travel as it is about seeing the future, living the future, or living the days of a week out of sync, or maybe it's all a dream or a flashback covered up by trauma, we'll never know because the movie doesn't tell us. All we know is that Linda Hanson learns on Wednesday that her husband was killed in a horrific car accident on Tuesday, and when she wakes up on what she expects to be Thursday, he's alive. The concept isn't so awful, and Mennan Yapo has done an adequate job of directing the film. Problems abound nonetheless. There's a lack of chemistry in the cast and characters whose motives are left unresolved, and the ending, while explosive clarifies nothing as to what's been going on or why.

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1 comment:

celiaarruda said...

i don't think the reviewer really understood the intentions of the storyteller. i believe the days were shown out of order but that they did occur in order. sandra's character has undergone an intense trauma observing the death of her husband which she in fact caused. she was given drugs and this may have caused the time shifting of the story. (you know when something bad happens you would hope to go back and change a moment in time)
if you try to piece the scenes together in order they still work; they just don't have the cinematic effect that the director and the writer intend.