Now heres an intriguing premise for a horror-thriller. What if you were entirely aware of what was happening mid-operation, when you were supposed to be under anaesthetic? Thats just what happens to Hayden Christensen in Awake
, a tidy, intriguing little film that makes a few interesting choices as its storyline evolves.
Christensen plays Clay Beresford, born into a rich family and dating a woman that he hides from his mother. He also is in need of heart surgery, and as he heads in for his operation, he gradually seems to be tying his life together. But theres more to Awake than that, and writer-director Joby Harolds screenplay throws in a couple of fairly obvious rug-pulls, although its still decent fun spotting them nonetheless.
Whats surprising about Awake is that its less interested in its central concept than perhaps it should be. It also hinges a too-challenging role on the shoulders of Jessica Alba, although supporting players such as Terence Howard, Lena Olin and Fisher Stevens do carry some of the weight.
With a concise and to-the-point sub-90 minute running time, Awake knows not to outstay its welcome, and generally delivers an entertaining, if ultimately shallow night in front of the box. There was, however, potential here for a more interesting movie than the one we got. --Jon Foster