johnlink ranks AWAKE (2007)

I vaguely remember hearing about this movie. Terrence Howard. Anakin Skywalker. Jessica Alba. Something about an anesthesiologist. I dunno. But it was under the thriller heading on Amazon Prime and that’s enough for me to try.


I watched AWAKE (2007) on 6.11.14. It was my first viewing of the film.

Inheritance baby Clay (Hayden Christensen) is a 22-year-old with everything in the world except a good heart. Fortunately, he has a doctor he trusts in Dr. Jack Harper (Terrence Howard) and an unbelievably beautiful fiancee in Sam Lockwood (Jessica Alba). On the other end of the spectrum is his overbearing mother Lilith (Lena Olin) and her desire for Clay to see a world famous physician.

This is a movie in which you are better knowing less when you go in. Having said that, the plot twists are amazingly predictable. Under the Direction of Joby Harold, from his own script, the actors are given a little too much leeway to foreshadow their bad intentions. We see what is going to happen from a mile away, until a final reveal in the last few minutes which comes across as arbitrary due to its tangential relationship to the main characters in the film.

Despite that, this is a movie which somehow works. We know the bad guys outnumber the good guys, but we want to see what will happen anyway. This is a movie which seems to have a question mark in the final outcome, so the tension holds up even with us knowing what the next step may be.

The writing of the mother character is the weakest. We see her as varying levels of bad and good, but there is almost too much there in the last fifteen minutes. She does something which seems to lack a need for explanation, yet AWAKE provides an explanation far too omniscient for our needs.

Hayden Christensen comes across surprisingly well, albeit with a limited ceiling. He was good in LIFE AS A HOUSE, but he is most notoriously remembered for his brutal acting in the STAR WARS prequels. AWAKE, at the least, gives us reason to not ignore him as a potential player in suspense films. Also strong is Jessica Alba. She may not have been on my radar in 2007, but were I a recently pubescent male at the time, I’m sure this movie would have been satisfactory.

The filming of this movie is interesting. There are several wonderful shots in the first five minutes which set a particular tone, but the rest of the film doesn’t deliver on this promise and patience. The editing later in the film gives us some interesting things to look at in a non-linear fashion, yet it also gives us a character having an out of body experience (which an IMDB synopsis hilariously calls an ‘outer body experience’) which is not present in the previous shots which supposedly contained him. The movie doesn’t NEED these images, but it would be a much more interesting film to consider if it had included them.

AWAKE is a thriller which deserves a viewing. It may not be anything major, in fact it is a small and tight film, but it is something which delivers a decent amount of suspense in a short amount of time. Enough acting, enough of a script, and enough heart to give the viewer 90 minutes of worthwhile entertainment.




FINAL SCORE: 6.25 out of 10

~ by johnlink00 on June 12, 2014.

4 Responses to “johnlink ranks AWAKE (2007)”

  1. This movie’s very goofy, but I found it to be a bit fun too. Maybe I was just in too much of a good mood when I saw it. Good review John.

  2. […] John Link Movies: 9 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King 2003 13 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring 2001 21 The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers 2002 […]

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