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Sandra Bullock either has absolutely no idea how to pick movies, or she simply doesn’t care about how she earns her paycheck. Aside from her barely better than a cameo role in Crash, it’s been string of real crap from her for most of the new millennium. Her choices show no sign of improving, in fact Premonition may be a new low.
In the film, Sandra plays Linda, a suburban housewife with a sometimes dead husband (Julian McMahon). One day she wakes up and he’s dead, the next he’s in the kitchen drinking coffee. It takes Linda most of the movie to figure out what’s happening, but by minute ten you’ll realize that she’s randomly time traveling. The whys and hows of it are uncertain, and Premonition doesn’t seem to think it’s important to explore them. The closest the film comes to an explanation comes in the form of a shoehorned in monologue from a priest, who blames her time travel on a lax church attendance. Actually, perhaps that’s the best thing about the movie. Apparently being an atheist means you get superpowers, which means some pretty great things are just around the corner for me.
The story plays out as if Linda’s walking around in a thick, soupy fog. It’s like watching a movie drunk, there’s no focus to it, the film never seems to be going anywhere because in fact, it isn’t. Linda suspects she’s been spending time in the future, but takes an almost fatalistic approach to it and never bothers to try changing anything until the final act. She simply goes through the motions. Nothing ever quite fits together, and the movie is jam packed with idiotic, logical gaps and blatantly sappy imagery designed to elicit an obligatory emotional response even though it isn’t warranted. It’s just one bad moment after another until the film finally falls to pieces and flops around on the floor like a bucket of suffocating fish on the floor of the theater.
The only conclusion to draw from this is that Sandra Bullock simply no longer cares about acting. It’s not only that she’s picked another bad film to be in, she’s also terrible in it. She may have no control over how much the script sucks once she signs on, but she could do something other than look like a Labrador retriever whose just lost his favorite ball while she follows it. No Sandra, I think you’re running out of excuses. Either retire to Austin and smoke pot with Matthew McConaughey or make movies. Pick one, your fans are suffering.
If there’s a bright spot in the film it’s Julian McMahon who, given absolutely nothing to work with, delivers a marginally believable performance as a working father with an uncertain future. Or at least it’s uncertain to us, if not to him. The film also perhaps deserves a little credit for the way it decides to end. The actual execution of the finale is laughable but they’ve chosen to avoid the Hollywood cliché wrap up for it, so even though they botch it, well at least they tried.
I’m grasping at straws here aren’t I?
There’s just no excusing it. Premonition plays out like the half-hearted, half-formed daydream of a bored, inebriated suburban housewife sick of ironing clothes and cleaning up baby vomit. I can deal with time travel movies that don’t make any sense, it’s time travel after all and you’re probably better off not thinking about it. But it would be nice if Premonition at least made an effort to put together some sort of cohesive narrative. Or maybe it would help if the film had a purpose, a point… anything. Somebody grab a bucket and start bailing, the plot holes are sinking this ship.