I can still feel everything"
businessman Clay Beresford Jr. (Christensen) may have everything but he
still has to wait for a compatible donor heart to save his young life. On
the advice of his doctor and best friend Jack Harper (Howard) he is trying
to make the most of his life, Clay pours himself into his work, creating
thousands of jobs for his native New York and falling into the arms of the
love of his life Sam (Alba). When a compatible heart is found and Clay is
prepped for his life saving surgery, he is given his general anaesthetic
but as the operation starts he realises that he is still awake, only paralysed
but he is able to hear and feel everything. The agonising pain is the least
of his worries however because he overhears that the surgeons are playing
to kill him.
twenty-one million people have a general anaesthetic every year but thirty
thousand of them are conscious, though paralysed throughout the procedure
but is this fact interesting enough to you awake through this movie?
and directed by Joby Harold, 'Awake' uses his interesting medical fact as
a plot point for the second half of the movie but unfortunately it isn't
interesting enough. Unbeknownst to Clay Beresford Jr., his live saving heart
transplant could be more fatal than he ever could have imaged as the surgeon's
who supposed to be working to save his life are in fact planning his demise
and how they can get their hands on his millions. While this might sound
an intriguing storyline but the execution is dyer.
you have to believe that Hayden Christensen could be a brilliant industrialist
who owns most of New York and has created thousands of jobs for the city
but the problem is that he cannot act. After been bombarded with negative
criticism for the two 'Star Wars' prequels he played Anakin Skywalker and
for his outing in Doug Liman's 'Jumper', Christensen again struggles to
convince anyone that he can become a character you can believe in or care
about. Secondly you have to believe that doctors would do anything for money
in a time when malpractice suites are rife and their careers can be finished
because of this. Surely it is the hospital insurance that covers its staff
against any claim of malpractice and not the doctors themselves, as none
of them would be able to work. Finally you have to be able to believe that
even if a patient is feeling everything while under general anaesthetic
that they can have an outer body experience that allows them to revisit
parts of his life to help him figure out why his doctors want him dead and
how they have got this far.
performances don't really help the situation either, which is surprising
as there are some talented actors and actresses on show here. While we already
know that Hayden Christensen can't act but you would expect more from the
usually excellent Terrence Howard and Lena Olin. Jessica Alba continues
to chose a variety of different roles to show her talents and his is quite
change for her, as the story reveals but it still doesn't take anything
from what is still an appalling script.
'Awake' is a disaster of a movie. It takes what is a promising plot statistic
and tries to run with it but in the end it just fails into farce. While
Jessica Alba is always worth watching, the movie proves again that Hayden
Christensen isn't much more than a pretty face and that even good actors
like Terrence Howard and Lena Olin can't save a terrible script. You will
have a problem staying awake during this one.
in Widescreen 1.85:1 Anamorphic with a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, the
transfer is good.
Writer/director Joby Harold provides an informative and chatty single person
commentary for 'Awake'. It is clear that he really believes in the film
and doesn't really see any of the faults, including the performance of Hayden
Christensen but this doesn't take anything away from what is a decent commentary.
Making of Awake (13.13 mins)
Writer/director Joby Harold, producer Joana Vicente, technical advisor Dr.
Stephen Bailey and stars Jessica Alba and Hayden Christensen talk about
bringing 'Awake' to the silver screen. The group explain where the story
came from, the characters and how the phenomenon of people been conscious
through an operation is real.
Entitled 'Clay and Jack', 'Dracula', 'The check book', 'Grim Reaper', 'First
Date', 'Last Train Home' and 'Christmas Eve', these deleted or extended
scenes suffer from the lack of a commentary or introduction to explain why
these scenes were removed.
to film comparison (8.44 mins)
Watch the scenes entitled 'Coming Home', 'Before surgery', 'A broken heart'
and 'the memory' with the accompanying storyboard on the screen.
Reel (4.22 mins)
Watch Jessica Alba, Hayden Christensen and the rest of the cast make a hash
of their lines and have fun on set.
DVD treatment for 'Awake' is one that fans should enjoy. The featurette
are standard fair and the storyboard comparisons are a good addition. The
extras are far better than the film.
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