2007 Certificate: 12

Synopsis

On the morning after her husband dies in a road accident, Linda Hanson (Sandra Bullock) wakes up to find herself miraculously transported back 48 hours prior to the tragedy. Confusingly, hubby Jim (Nip/Tuck's serial bed-hopper Julian McMahon) is still very much alive. Over the next week, Linda awakens on random days either side of the crash - sometimes as the contented wife, on others as the grieving widow. Is she as unbalanced as her friends and family believe? Or has she been granted an opportunity to use the future to change the past? Psychological thriller with a few timely twists.

Director

  • Mennan Yapo

Cast

  • Sandra Bullock

  • Julian McMahon

  • Nia Long

Review

As u-turns in career choices go, Sandra Bullock's decision to throw off her expertly trademarked romcom cuteness for the universally deified Crash was nothing short of inspired.

Originally the figurehead for its initial publicity campaign, criminally marginalised once the puppet masters smelt a potential Oscar simmering to a steady boil, Ms B could be forgiven for dusting off the slingbacks, painting the smile back on and allowing audiences to fall in love with her pratfalling kookiness once again.

It's just such a pity to find that she avoided doing so by taking on a project so hokey you wonder whether at any minute you'll be asked to put your left leg in.

Armed with the kind of Act I kicker that presumably makes studio heads invest in more stock, trailer editors sound the huzzah and screenwriters knock off early for the day - head-scratching thriller The Premonition had a fighting chance.

What lets it down is a serious undervaluing of its audience's ability to process even the simplest facet of either plot or character.

Every minor detail of what should be an effective and engaging narrative is loaded down with unnecessarily expository dialogue, exaggerated close-ups of supposedly crucial ephemera and - most gratingly - an obligingly contextual cleric.

Overall the feeling is that Alfred Hitchcock back catalogue - or perhaps more contemporaneously Christopher Nolan's Memento - both cast a sufficiently long shadow that the insistence is much more on a three-paragraph tabloid splash as opposed to a full page of a broader sheet.

Director Mennan Yapo and screenwriter Bill Kelly do combine well to create a series of nicely judged visual motifs to signify the anarchic passage of time - most effectively Linda's chronologically diminishing dye job.

An interesting subplot also briefly suggests a darker edge to Bullock's character, one that sees her become conspiratorially involved in events leading up to the central car crash.

Plus an explosive conclusion - while not the corkscrew twisteroo the scattergun editing would have us believe - still manages to be heart-racingly effective.

Tim Postins