As Premonition the Lamest Movie Ever? Probably not, given its myriad competitors for the dubious title, but damn if it doesn’t work hard—through not working hard at all—at setting some sort of record for dreary ridiculousness. The second straight Sandra Bullock vehicle involving time-travel (after The Lake House), Mennan Yapo’s “thriller” concerns a housewife named Linda Hanson who, upon learning that husband Jim (Julian McMahon) has died in a car accident, finds her brain (and grasp on reality) going all scrambled-eggy. Mysteriously hopping back and forth between the past and the future via sleep, Linda soon realizes that to save her hubby, avoid being institutionalized by lithium-proscribing Dr. Roth (Peter Stormare), and prevent her younger daughter from scarring her face, she’s got to piece together a series of clues to Jim’s death that, to put it mildly, make no sense. One day, Linda trips out back by the billowing sheet-adorned clothesline and lands on a dead crow; later, on an earlier day, she sees the sparkly lightning that killed the creature. What does this random bird have to do with Jim’s demise? Not a thing, but that doesn’t stop Yapo, working from Bill Kelly’s inane script, from treating it and every other non-event like a harbinger of doom, the director’s main stylistic flourish being to punctuate his torpid scenarios with low, sinister whooshing noises. A barely-trying Bullock affects anxious dismay while haphazardly running around trying to make sense of her topsy-turvy new life, which she accomplishes after a local priest, who reads from a handy book of stories about people who’ve seen the future, enlightens her with nuggets of wisdom like “History’s full of unexplained phenomena” and “Nature abhors a vacuum, even a spiritual one.” That the root cause of her situation is (spoiler alert!) unidentified cosmic (religious?) forces proves about as pathetic an explanation as was The Forgotten‘s use of aliens to account for the inexplicable. Such unimaginativeness, however, still doesn’t prepare one for the mind-bogglingly meaningless final image—a bit of “one door closes, another door opens” nonsense to cap off a fiasco that should serve as a forewarning to Bullock about her (already mediocre) career’s downward trajectory.
Skin tones are good and edge haloes are rarely intrusive, and though shadow detail and dynamic range are generally good, black crush is noticeable in spots-usually during indoor night scenes, with Sandra Bullock's very-brown hair attracting the worst of it. Sound is almost flawless: Dialogue is clear and the surround effects are dynamic enough that you might think something is flying in through your windows.
The sleepy-time commentary track by Mennan Yapo and Sandra Bullock won't endear you to the earnest but bloodlessly workmanlike direction of the film or its equally sincere performances. Regarding the scene where Bullock's housewife is shipped to the loony bin, Yapo says, "Again, two cameras at all times, and capturing the moment, documenting it, rather than trying to stage something. You know, that's why all this feels real. Everybody's there in the room." Whatever, man, this isn't Titicut Follies. Props to Bullock, though, who reveals her fabulous sense of humor throughout a gag reel that hilariously culminates with her giving CPR to Julian McMahon's rolling prosthetic head. Yapo appears again on "Brining Order to Chaos," which allows him to go over the events in the film in chronological order for anyone who may have gone to the bathroom during the ostensibly crucial scene where Linda documents her ordeal on flipchart paper. Equally worthless is a making-of featurette, and though "Real Premonitions" lazily incorporates scenes from the film into its 45-minute running time, the documentary is intriguing for its tawdry, TLC-style aesthetic and the premonitory stories of its subjects.
If we're lucky, Premonition may not exist come tomorrow morning.