Premonition

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This review was written for the theatrical release of "Premonition." 

Sandra Bullock may already have done the time-tripping thing in last year's "The Lake House," but it's deja vu all over again with "Premonition," a hopeless head-scratcher of a ponderous thriller about a suburban wife and mother who one day is informed that her husband has been killed in a terrible car crash, only to wake up the next day to find him alive and well.

But that's only the start of this logistically impenetrable, low-rent "Memento" that grows more confusing by the day as Bullock's traumatized lead character feverishly attempts to piece together the jumbled 24-hour periods of a particularly hellish week.

And if she's having trouble making sense of it all, just imagine how the audience feels. Fortunately for them, they can probably see this one coming, which would portend disappointing boxoffice returns.

Bullock's Linda Hanson would at first glimpse seem like one of those women who have it all -- a handsome and attentive husband ("Nip/Tuck's" Julian McMahon), a beautiful home and two lovely daughters -- that is, until disturbing events force her to see beyond her safely complacent surroundings.

Workable theory, but the mechanics that bring her to that point are awfully muddled. Is Linda's husband really dead, or was it just a telepathic warning shot? Is she going bonkers, or is she already there? And just how did her older daughter get all those nasty scars on her face?

Meanwhile Linda -- for reasons apparently known only to writer Bill Kelly and German-born director Mennan Yapo -- keeps waking up on different, nonconsecutive days of the week and, during her few precious hours of clarity, tries to reconstruct it all on a hastily scrawled calendar.

Even if it would have been possible to make sense of any of it, "Premonition" still carries that unmistakably nonorganic scent that reeks of reshoots and last-minute cutting.

As a result, the usually likable Bullock, obstructed by glaring continuity problems and often baffling character motivation, comes across as unsympathetically dazed and confused here, giving the viewer little reason to care about this desperate housewife's puzzling predicament.

The final edit finds McMahon's performance similarly flat and unconvincing, while the rest of the cast, including the formidable Kate Nelligan and Peter Stormare, haven't been given the opportunity to make their usual impact.

PREMONITION
TriStar Pictures
TriStar Pictures, MGM and Hyde Park Entertainment presents
An Ashok Amritraj/Offspring Entertainment production
Credits:
Director: Mennan Yapo
Screenwriter: Bill Kelly
Producers: Ashok Amritraj, Jon Jashni, Adam Shankman, Jennifer Gibgot, Sunil Perkash
Executive producers: Andrew Sugerman, Nick Hamson, Lars Sylvest
Director of photography: Torsten Lippstock
Production designer: Dennis Washington
Editor: Neil Travis
Costume designer: Jill Ohanneson
Music: Klaus Badelt
Cast:
Linda Hanson: Sandra Bullock
Jim Hanson: Julian McMahon
Annie: Nia Long
Joanne: Kate Nelligan
Claire: Amber Valletta
Dr. Norman Roth: Peter Stormare
Running time -- 97 minutes
MPAA rating: PG-13

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