Home > Reviews > PREMONITION – Klaus Badelt

PREMONITION – Klaus Badelt

Original Review by Clark Douglas

Let’s just be upfront about things. “Premonition”, the latest Sandra Bullock vehicle, is a pretty ridiculous time-bending film, as almost every time-bending film is. Let’s face it, very few movies have been able to pull off a “time warp” theory convincingly… but some of them work in spite of it. I have been unusually kind to these movies in recent days. I gave Bullock’s previous time-bending romance “The Lake House” a kind review, and also tossed some generous comments in the direction of Tony Scott’s “Déjà Vu”. However, I will not show such mercy to “Premonition”, and as with all of those other films, my opinion has very little to do with the time warp element.

Bullock plays a woman who has just learned that her husband (Julian McMahon) has died in a car accident. After a day of grieving and trying to cope with the news, Bullock naturally goes to bed and falls asleep. When she wakes up the next day, her husband is alive, as if nothing had happened. The thing is, it’s a couple days before his accident is supposed to occur. When she wakes up the next morning, she is thrown back into reality, and it’s time for the funeral. The next day, he’s back again… and so on, and so forth.

As the film begins, we follow Bullock’s attempts to save her husband’s life. However, not long into the proceedings, she discovers that he was planning to cheat on her with a co-worker. This causes her to ponder whether simply not doing anything to change the course of time, and simply allowing her husband to die, is wrong. Along the journey, she has to put up with friends and co-workers who have begun to think that Bullock is crazy. She consults a psychiatrist (Peter Stormare) and a priest (Jude Ciccolella) for counsel; both of them come off seeming remarkably dense.

But then, density seems to be a flaw every character in this movie possesses. In “Déjà vu”, Denzel Washington dealt with the futility of trying to change events that take place. Here, the events seem remarkably easy to change, yet Bullock’s character is far too dumb to change them. The film’s rather bleak and peculiar ending requires a remarkable amount of stupidity on all sides, which makes the film a very frustrating experience for the thinking moviegoer.

Not only does the movie lack brains, it lacks any level of interest. The film plays at two levels: overdramatic and completely flat. Most of the time, the movie crawls along at a dull pace, slowly revealing secrets that we have all ready figured out fifteen minutes ahead of time. However, every few minutes, it will throw out a remarkably overdramatic moment that seems jarring and out of place in context. If this were a feverish melodrama directed by Brian De Palma, these moments might work, but they are painful breaks in tone in this movie.

The performances are also poorly modulated. This was a surprise for me, as Sandra Bullock is usually a likable and appealing presence, even in her worst movies. In her latest attempt to be accepted as a “serious” actress, she fails to convey the emotional trauma required to make the role work, and is quite uninteresting during most of her screen time… except for brief occasions of wild overacting that seem completely out of character. Julian McMahon is even worse as her husband, he gives us no reason to care one way or another whether he lives or dies. Even the child actresses playing Bullock’s children are quite dull. Only Peter Stormare generates a little bit of interest, but he disappears after the first act.

The score was composed by Klaus Badelt, who turns in a reasonably professional but completely unmemorable effort. His main theme is a moody piece for strings and piano, sounding like a very watered-down version of Hans Zimmer’s “Hannibal” theme. He scores a few of the more “horrific” scenes with the usual array of electronics, pieces that qualify more as sound design than as actual music. Still, it’s mostly a melodic affair… even if the melodies lack depth or genuine feeling most of the time. Badelt over-scores a few scenes, including one scene involving a casket which receives such horribly overcooked musical treatment that I laughed out loud. There is one element of the score I liked, a gentle love theme that shows up three or four times. It’s a simple piece, but very pleasant and effective.

”Premonition” is not as technically bad as some other recent thrillers like “The Number 23”, but it’s easily the most boring thriller I’ve seen in quite a while. This one is for die-hard Sandra Bullock fans only, and even they may have a hard time getting through the movie. Perhaps the film could have worked with a sharper screenplay and better casting… replace Bullock and McMahon with Joan Allen and James Woods, and perhaps you’ve got something. Alas, as it is, the result couldn’t be much more underwhelming. Buying a ticket to “Premonition” is like deciding to watch a really weak made-for-TV thriller, except for more expensive and without the option to change the channel.

P.S. You should all be proud of me. I managed to get through the entire review without making one joke about the title of the movie.
P.S.S. I have a “Premonition” that you will be as horrified and confused as Sandra Bullock’s character if you see this movie.
P.S.S.S. Oops.

Rating: **

Track Listing:

  • Premonition (2:36)
  • Linda and Jim (3:04)
  • Severe Severing (9:52)
  • Roommates and a Liar (10:26)
  • Inconsistencies (8:37)
  • Something’s Really Wrong (4:54)
  • If Tomorrow is Wednesday (7:02)
  • A New Life (2:09)

Running Time: 48 minutes 40 seconds

Varese Sarabande VSD-6808 (2007)

Music composed by Klaus Badelt. Orchestrations by Ian Honeyman, Andrew Raiher and Jeff Toyne. Recorded and mixed by Robert Fernandez. Edited by Michael K. Bauer. Album produced by Klaus Badelt.

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