Eric D. Snider


Movie Review


by Eric D. Snider

Grade: C

Released: March 16, 2007


Directed by:


One must strike a delicate balance in order for a film like "Premonition" -- in which a housewife foresees her husband's death and must act to prevent it -- to be successful. The premise lends itself so readily to absurdity that unintended comedy is almost unavoidable.

Mennan Yapo, director of "Premonition," is not able to avoid the pitfalls, and I'm not sure how hard he even tried. What use is there in having the husband's severed head accidentally fall out of the coffin? That isn't creepy or scary; it's over-the-top and hilarious. How can we be expected to take the movie seriously when it's behaving in such a fashion?

Sandra Bullock plays Linda Hanson, the housewife who becomes unstuck in time and keeps waking up on different days immediately preceding and following her husband Jim's (Julian McMahon) death. She's told on Thursday that he died on Wednesday; when she wakes up the next morning it's Monday, and the car accident hasn't happened yet. Next thing she knows it's Saturday, the day of the funeral and the bumbling, head-dropping mortuary employees.

As Linda tries to figure out the timeline involved in saving Jim's life, the film tosses in other mysteries to pad out the running time. The couple has two daughters, the older of whom (Courtney Taylor Burness) suddenly has recent injuries to her face. Linda finds a dead bird in the backyard and ominously smears some of its blood on the sliding glass door. An anonymous blonde (Amber Valletta) turns up at the funeral. These details, all of them underlined in some way, prove to be distractions from the central issue, and I found myself frequently wishing the movie would just get on with things. Either she can prevent Jim's death, or she can't. Let's get to that point and find out which it is.

Even more wasteful is the way the film brings up deeper philosophical issues, then doesn't do anything with them. "If I let Jim die, is that the same as killing him?" Linda wonders at one point. She even visits a priest (apparently she is a lapsed Catholic, though this is the first we've heard of it) to discuss fate and destiny. But is any point or conclusion ever derived from these brief forays into philosophy? Nope. Just a rehashed "Twilight Zone" plot stretched over 90 minutes while Sandra Bullock stumbles around working on her "baffled" face.

Grade: C

Rated PG-13, one F-word, scattered other profanity, mild violence

1 hr., 36 min.

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This item has 11 comments

  1. kevith says:

    In a way it's more realistic for the movie not to say anything about her religion and then spring it on you like that. I have found out about the closeted Catholicism of several acquaintances when they suddenly come out with a "I have to go to mass because it's Easter/Christmas." ;)

  2. Mr. Tweek says:

    Boring, sad and I screamed "what the F*ck" at the end even as people were leaving the threater. Depressing and it made me want my $6 back afterwards.

  3. Ryan Hansen says:

    That was one of the worst movies I have ever sat through... Spending $9 to see it probably was more economically reckless on my part than the "Big Dig" in Massachusetts.

  4. Wendy W. says:

    WOW...that movie was so dissappointing. I was looking forward to it and left the theater like everyone else, "I want my money back!" My 4 year old neice could have written a better ending.

  5. Emily McFadden says:

    A c? Don't you think your being a little to nice to the movie? I'd given it a d lol

  6. Randy Tayler says:

    Ho man. Biggest plot hole ever: The story begins on Thursday, when Linda takes her daughters to school, and later finds her husband has died. On Friday and Saturday we see that her daughter now has stitches for some mysterious reason. We later discover how it happened, and that it happened on Tuesday -- yet she had no stitches on Thursday when she was taken to school.

    I mean, wow. GAPING plot hole.

    I knew it was lousy, but I figured it was about time my wife got to choose a movie.

    Her next turn choosing comes up in 2012.

  7. Amanda says:

    I thought of that too Randy Tayler. Thank you for proving I'm not crazy.

    This movie reminds me of Dragonfly with Kevin Costner (did I spell that right?) Both movies have a surprise ending involving, well, I can't really say. Oddly enough, I liked Dragonfly more than Premonition, because there's less blind anger and more love between the possibly doomed couple. And the plot makes sense.

  8. John Doe says:

    Yeah, this movie was frustrating. Why create hope when there is none? It seemed like the entire movie was an exercise in futility and was pointless. I have to echo what others have said. Luckily, I only saw it at the dollar theater. My friends said they wanted to see Wild Hogs, but I convinced them to check this out since I'd seen the "funny" parts of Wild Hogs (it was pathetic). So I still think I chose the better movie with the choices given, but no movie would've been better maybe.

  9. tom says:

    This is a very lame movie. It was a waste of time. I liked Sandra Bullock's acting but the ending was disappointing. It looked like it was going to be ok and then bam!!

  10. Brad says:

    Sorry for the late comments here, but I saw this movie tonight with several of my family members, and I have to concur on the head-from-the casket scene. Having not read this review, I literally fell out of my chair laughing when it happened. We're talking tears here.

    ...and when I looked around, everyone was staring at me in horror. Can you believe people actually took that scene seriously? I'm still giggling even now, and they're probably still whispering about me. :D

  11. ClobberGirl says:

    I borrowed the DVD from someone not long ago, and yes, was very disappointed with this movie. What drove me nuts was not the ending; it was all the inconsistencies with the time travel aspect of the story.

    ~ Her husband dies on Wednesday. The cop comes to her and informs her of his death on Thursday. Yet when we finally get to see Sandra live out the fateful Wednesday, she winds up being present at the scene of her husband's accident. Why would the cop need to come and inform her about the accident then on Thursday?

    ~ The much-complained-about discrepancy where her daughter has no scars on her face and hands on the initial Thursday, then we see that these wounds were inflicted on Tuesday.

    ~ We get to see her live Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday out of order after learning about her husband's death on Thursday first. She acts as though she has never seen those days before and all the information she acquires from them is new. But if the story begins on Thursday, hadn't she already lived through those days once? Did she skip those days and go straight from Saturday to Thursday, then go back and live them? If so, why doesn't she seem surprised that it's Thursday and not Sunday?

    The Wikipedia article on the movie argues that it portrays two timelines to explain some of the discrepancies. But wait, isn't the movie's point that you can't change events, only your perception of them? If that's the case, there shouldn't be two timelines; her daughter's face should have been mangled in both, she should have been present at the accident in both, etc. This wasn't two timelines, it was just poor writing.

    So, in conclusion... Remember the Sandra Bullock from While You Were Sleeping? I really miss that Sandra Bullock.

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