Film review: Premonition (2007), directed by Mennan Yapo
Linda Hanson (Sandra Bullock) and her husband Jim (Julian McMahon) move in to a new house, and everything is peachy. They wuv each other and have two beautiful daughters (Shyann McClure and Courtney Taylor Burgess).
One day Linda wakes up and go about her day, only to get a knock on the door. Sheriff Reilly (Marc Macaulay) tells her Jim died in a car crash the day before. Linda’s world falls apart. When she wakes again the next day, her mother (Kate Nelligan) isn’t in the house to help her with the children in these dark and troubled times and Jim is very much alive. What the …?
Is Linda slowly losing her mind, or what on earth is going on? Can she somehow tell the future?
(Spoilers lurking ahead.)
Also starring Nia Long as Linda’s friend Annie and Peter Stormare as Dr Roth.
The premise of Premonition sounded interesting – after all, premonitions are a way of getting a hunch of what’s going to happen next. Been there, had those. I also really enjoy Sandra Bullock, and Julian McMahon is not a bad guy for once, but as I watched the film I just got more and more frustrated.
How on earth couldn’t she figure out sooner that she was living the week out of chronological order? If you wake up one day and your husband’s dead and the next one he isn’t, and then he is again, and then he isn’t – isn’t that just as impossible as living a week out of synch?
For that matter, if you know what’s going to happen, and those events are really bad, why would you go out of your way to ensure them happening?! If you know you’re going to get sectioned by a mental health professional and forcibly removed from your children, why would you go look him up and thus make him aware of you? Wouldn’t it be better to remember that scrunched-up page from the Yellow Pages from the other day, and when finding it still in the phone book, to put the two together and think “oh, I remember this … I’m probably better off not calling him”?
Not if you’re confused and beside yourself with grief, okay, fine, I get that, but Linda just ends up being an annoying twit. I was behind her at the beginning, but the more she kept on doing stupid things the less I gave a crap. In the end it was a “oh FFS, you’re on your own. Geez!” This includes the ending.
I can see the ending being meant as spiritually uplifting and what have you, but I found it disappointing. If you, as a viewer, have been put through all of that, you want a reward in the end. You’re rewarded with people being stupid, which is not a reward. In fact, the ending is a good example of what the Darwin Awards is all about. And at that point I facepalmed and groaned.
If you’re faced with, say, a burning building and you want to save a suitcase full of something of sentimental value, and the suitcase gets stuck somewhere on your way out, and the floor above is about to come down right on top of you, do you
a) continue trying to yank the suitcase free and thus die when the roof collapses on top of you?
– or –
b) GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE, SOD THE SUITCASE, because the suitcase might have sentimental value but your life is wayyyyyy more important to your family?
If you choose A, this is the film for you. If you, like me, would choose B, you’ll find the ending totally incomprehensible. And that’s why it’s also really disappointing. It started out good, like I said, but as it goes on, it becomes more and more ridiculous. I can suspend my disbelief over living a week out of synch, fine, but I can’t suspend it over how you can completely fail to realise this until the beginning of Act 3, where it’s suddenly, and dramatically, obvious to you. Disregarding the fact that the good doctor said “she came to see me on Tuesday”, shortly after mentioning how it’s now Thursday (or something), even thought it’s only Monday as far as the main character is concerned.
But yeah, the epilogue is of how life carries on, so you might as well carry on with it, which is nice and uplifting, but the point remains that it didn’t have to be that way. And that’s why I didn’t like this film.
2 out of 5 electrocuted birds.