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
Medical thriller starring Hayden Christensen and Jessica Alba. 22-year old Clay Beresford (Christensen) has a successful career with a capital investment firm and a beautiful fiancee named Sam (Alba). His life would be perfect but for the heart condition that requires him to have a transplant, and the fact that he has to hide his engagement from his mother, Lilith (Lena Olin), because Sam is her personal assistant. His friend, Dr. Jack Harper (Terrence Howard), is scheduled to perform the operation but Clay's family thinks he should go to a better clinic with a more experienced surgeon. After a row with Lilith over his relationship with Sam, Clay asks Dr. Harper to arrange a quick wedding. After marrying in a church at midnight, Clay goes to the hospital for his operation. However, after being given the anaesthetic, Clay finds that he's still awake and aware, but completely paralysed. While seemingly under, he discovers a plot to end his young life, but how is he to supposed stop it?