In Premonition, Sandra Bullock plays an apathetic housewife whose world is turned upside down when she finds out that her husband has been killed in a terrible car accident. To make matters worse, she wakes up the next day to find out that the accident has not yet happened, that it was only a premonition. After seeing this film I believe that I too have had a premonition. What did I see in the future? I saw that this film will draw in a decent audience this weekend at the box office, then proceed to disappoint it.
Why is such a good turnout expected? Simply because there are plenty of ladies out there who are either tired of seeing nothing but family comedies (a la Wild Hogs) and blatant guy movies (300) filling their local Cineplex. And when they see that Sandra Bullock is starring, they immediately associate that with a sappy romantic storyline. Sadly they are in for a rude awakening when they discover that the closest this film gets to romance is the near rekindling of flames lost through years of stale married life between Bullock’s Linda and her soon to be dead husband Jim (played by Nip/Tuck‘s Julian McMahon).
Now the lack of romanticism in this flick is not quite enough to steer audiences away, as it is being marketed as a psychological thriller about being able to see into the future and make moral decisions based on those future events. The only problem there is the fact that in order to successful execute a decent thriller, you must be able to lead your audience down a path, surprise them and then at least explain what the heck is going on by the time the credits roll. This is where Premonition fails miserably, with an ending that is not even worth spoiling because it is so bad. It is one of those movies that, when the credits do finally arrive, you are forced to look at the screen and say “Huh?”
And it is not bad enough that the ending had to make absolutely no sense, the entire rest of the movie has to follow suit. The story takes place over the course of a week (Sunday to Saturday), but the days are lived out of order by Linda. One day she wakes up and it is Thursday, the next day she wakes up and it is Monday. This is not altogether an uncommon way to tell a story, in fact it is quite a unique premise with the potential to be very interesting if done well. The only thing that can go wrong is that if you are not consistent then your story falls apart. In the case of Premonition, if you take all of the days and separate them, then put them in the right order they would make absolutely no sense. Certain plot points never quite connect from one scene to the next, causing us to become detached from the story and annoyed with its inconsistencies, and that just doesn’t make for a fulfilling night at the movies.
In the end there really isn’t a way for me to stop people from seeing this flick no matter how certain I am that they will be disappointed. It is a simple suspense flick absolutely devoid of a payoff, unless you consider utter confusion and a stale taste in your mouth to be a good payoff for a Sandra Bullock movie.
Premonition is in theaters on March 16, has a running time of 110 minutes and is Rated PG-13 for some violent content, disturbing images, thematic material and brief language.