time shifting in THE LAKE HOUSE as she's at it again with decidedly weaker results in PREMONITION. This film wants to be a twisty thriller but ends up something of a misogynistic mess which leaves its leading lady stranded.
Bullock plays Linda Hanson, a woman who seemingly has it all: a big roomy house, two adorable daughters (Courtney Taylor Burness and Shyann McClure) and a handsome, successful businessman husband (Julian McMahon). Her perfect world is shattered one afternoon when the local sheriff arrives with bad news: Linda's husband Jim has been killed in an automobile accident. Devastated, Linda turns to her best friend Annie (Nia Long, wasted in a nothing role) and her overprotective mother (Kate Nelligan in her first feature role in eight years). She curls up on the couch and eventually falls asleep.
That's when things get screwy: the next morning Linda expects to find her mother in the kitchen and instead finds Jim drinking coffee. Of course she thinks she must have had a bad dream. The day goes along and the next morning, she awakens to discover that Jim is indeed dead and her house is filled with mourners. There's also the pesky detail of her oldest daughter's face which is covered in unexplained yet stitched up cuts. Mom and best friend Annie think Linda may have done something to cause this and take actions that are unbelievable and completely unnecessary.
Eventually, Linda begins to figure out that she's living one week of her life out of order -- with no rhyme or reason to which day comes when. That's one of the major flaws of the script by Bill Kelly: there is no internal logic to the film. Movies that played with time like SLIDING DOORS and MEMENTO had an overarching logic to them that is sorely missing or just not evident in PREMONITION.
The actors are generally stranded and some of the "surprises" are telegraphed by the screenplay and Mennan Yapo's inert direction. Bullock can be an appealing performer but here she just seems lost at sea. And there's an underlying intangible misogyny in the story that is rather distressing. [POSSIBLE SPOILER: There are scenes where she is accused of hurting her child and where she deals with a mysterious psychiatrist played by Peter Stormare that smack of payback for being a "bad" mother and/or "bad" wife. Also the ending -- which I won't reveal -- borders on a cliché.]
There may have been a germ of a good B-movie in the idea for PREMONITION, but in its execution, the film falters and fails miserably.
Rating: D Running time: 97 mins. MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some violent content, disturbing images, thematic material and brief language
Viewed at the Dolby 88 Screening Room
L to R: Sandra Bullock as Linda Hanson and PREMONITION