Sandra Bullock, Julian McMahon, Jeff Galpin, Nia Long, Amber Valletta,
Marcus Lyle Brown, Mark Famiglietti
Director: Mennan Yapo
“Premonition” tries to meld the disorienting timeline of “Memento” with the loved-one-in-peril urgency of “Frequency,” but fails on both counts. It doesn’t have the smarts of the former or the emotional weight of the latter. In the place of those things are a pile of loose ends, clichés, quick cuts, and some bad, bad acting. TriStar should have shipped this puppy straight to DVD. It would have made a killing as a rental. As it is, it’ll hit the stores a few months from now, but will carry the stink of box office failure with it.
Sandra Bullock is Linda, a busy homemaker and mother of two who receives a visit from the local sheriff one day informing her that her husband Jim (Julian McMahon) was killed in a car accident the day before. Linda is shocked that she’s finding out the news the day after it happened, and after breaking the news to her daughters, she falls asleep on the couch clutching a wedding photo of her and Jim…only to wake up the next morning in bed with Jim at her side. Linda thinks the whole encounter with the sheriff is a bad dream, until she wakes up the next day and Jim is once again dead, it is the day of his funeral, and there is a bottle of valium in her sink and a bottle of wine by her bed. As the week’s events begin to unfold, Linda realizes that she’s living the days out of sequence, and she’s running out of time to come up with a plan to prevent Jim’s death.
The movie’s “rules” are so flimsy that even the filmmakers have to cheat repeatedly in order to keep the viewer guessing. We begin the movie the day after Jim’s death, though there is no sign of the accident that befell a supporting character a few days earlier. There is a scene where Linda is incarcerated indefinitely, though that moment is completely forgotten by movie’s end. Was it real, was it the one dream inside the timeline nightmare, or is it just one more cheat? The tacked-on meeting with the priest (Jude Ciccolella, “24”), who hypothesizes that Linda brought this on herself, attempts to offer an explanation for the events at hand, but that explanation doesn’t make any rational sense.
The acting is even flimsier. Bullock’s reaction to the news of her husband’s death borders on “Glen or Glenda” levels of non-acting (she’s clearly never seen Naomi Watts’ performance in “21 Grams”), and McMahon is so bland you’re left wondering why she’s fighting so hard to save him. The kids are cute – Courtney Taylor Burness could make a career out of playing a young Nicole Kidman the way that Troy Gentile has made one by playing a young Jack Black – but all kids in movies are cute. No one else in the movie makes any impact whatsoever.This is all M. Night Shyamalan’s fault, you know. He made two good to great Hook Movies, and opened the floodgates for sorry copycats like “Premonition.” Is it not enough that we have to suffer though Shyamalan’s own movies anymore? In the name of all that is holy, let this be the Hook Movie that kills the Hook Movie.