Pin It


The trailer for the thriller Awake tells you pretty much everything you need to know about the movie's premise. Super-dramatic white-on-black text reads: "Every year 21 million people are put under anesthesia. One in 700 remain awake."

When he goes in for a heart transplant, brooding CEO Clay Beresford (Hayden Christensen) finds himself one of these unlucky "anesthetic awareness" sufferers. He feels the scalpel a' slicin'—and then learns his doctors plan to kill him. A conspiracy! On the same day that Clay's anesthesia doesn't work! Goodness, what are the odds?

Written and directed by first-time filmmaker Joby Harold (whose previous film experience apparently entailed being the assistant director on an intriguingly named short film called Bacon Wagon), Awake is a very, very lame movie. We're treated to a silly running monologue of Christensen's thoughts, after he realizes the anesthesia hasn't worked. "Hold on guys, I can still hear you," he thinks, urgently. Later, he implores Larry (Christopher McDonald), the only doctor not in on the conspiracy, "Larry, c'mon man, look at my eye! C'mon Larry, look!"

All this, the numerous scenes featuring a non-corporeal version of Clay running around the hospital barefoot and clad in a gown (Clay can't leave his hospital bed, so we get to see him running in his mind), and even the movie's simultaneously sappy and nonsensical "surprise ending" would be tolerable, if Harold had just realized he was making a dumb movie, and embraced it, tongue-in-cheek style.

But he didn't. Instead, both Awake and its characters remain sombre throughout—as people make impossible leaps in logic, as non-corporeal Clay converses with a non-corporeal version of his mom (Lena Olin), and even as the millionaire tenderly asks his new wife (Jessica Alba), "Do you think my new heart will love you as much as my old one?"

It's a flat-out terrible movie. Still, Awake serves an important purpose. Now, if we meet a guy named Larry and need him to look in our eye, we'll be able to ask him to do so while impressing him with our mad movie-quoting skills. "Larry, c'mon man...," we'll say. (You get the idea.)

Pin It


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Survey Asks

Do you want more buses on Gottingen Street?

  • Yes
  • No

View Results

In Print This Week

Vol 25, No 9
July 27, 2017

Cover Gallery »

Real Time Web Analytics

© 2017 Coast Publishing Ltd.