review by Neo

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Year: 2007

Box Office: US$14 million

Director: Joby Harold

Producer: Jason Kliot, John Penotti, Joana Vicente, Robert Velo

Writer: Joby Harold

Starring: Hayden Christensen, Jessica Alba, Lena Olin, and Terrence Howard

Genre: Suspense Thriller

Tagline: A twist too many…

Review by Neo: To be perfectly honest, I didnít see the major twist coming and for what it is worth, the first twist actually worked and I was caught pleasantly surprised. However, the pile on of twists after twists ended up making Awake far too predictable, as after the first twist, the audience can almost predict the second coming. Still, there is enough to justify Awake as a decently average movie and the presence of the picturesque Jessica Alba always help the preceding. Average movie at best, but one thing is a must, do not read any reviews, do not see the trailer and finally, do not go into the movie thinking there is a major twist, then perhaps, you still can be pleasantly surprised.

The movie goes like this, sometimes and some people remains awake during a major operation, while they can feel the pain of having their rib cage ripped open; they are literally paralysed and cannot move or scream. Hayden Christensen plays a rich CEO of several major corporations, with a super hot girl friend (played by the irresistible Jessica Alba), but on top of all that, he needs a heart transplant. Basically, without spoiling anymore, nobody is who you think they are.

Moving on, the performances of Hayden Christensen are that of borderline, uninteresting at times and even boring to watch. If this lad wants to be a leading man material, he will need to develop a more interesting personality in his characters, even if it is due to the blend scriptwriting of his role. The real problem here exists within the core of his relationship with Alba. It seems unrealistic and the chemistry just isnít there. Likewise, despite my self-acclaimed fondness of the figure and looks of Jessica Alba, her performance here, just does not hit the par. Luckily, she is able to sustain the audience attention well enough through her charms, good looks and perfect figure. Just a glimpse of the way she conducted herself in the final few scenes, just shows her limited acting range. Thatís not to say that Alba is without potential apart from flower glass roles, as I was quite impressed with her in The Eye, but this is clearly a long way off the mark. These two performances is made all the more critical when compared with the layered and subtle display for the mum (played by Lena Olin) who is absolutely effective in her role and made her paper thin character more interesting than it should be.

All in all, Awake is good for the eyes, filled with some moments of tension here and there and even provided the audience with a workable twist, but ultimately fails to deliver by being predictable and some truly blend acting display. Still, for what it is worth, Awake is only 78 minutes and it breezes by as fast as it starts. Personally, it would be easy to hate such a film, but somehow, I managed to be entertained for a moment or two. For those moments alone, Awake can easily work out to be a decently average thriller and at the very least, filmmakers here, tried something different and original to say the least. After all, if you get your rib cage open while you are awake, I am sure; there will be some feelings involved; at least, I am human enough to feel something … (Neo 2009)

I rate it 6/10

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