In Premonition, Sandra Bullock stars as Linda Hansen, a housewife in anytown, America who receives the news that her husband Jim (Julian McMahon) has died. But when she wakes up the next morning, it hasn't happened yet. Turns out, Linda is living the days of her week out of order. Will she be able to save him?
I went into this screening expecting the typical, soul-less Sandra Bullock shlockfest based around the gimmick of the time being out of joint. So I was actually more pleasantly surprised by Premonition than most, I'd suspect. Tonally, it's a little bit darker and heavier than her usual thrillers like The Net and Speed, which I think is what was more appealing for me. Conflict scenes escalate and get a little grittier than you'd expect, which may have something to do with the European sensibilities of director Mennan Yapo (Lautlos). And judging from what the talent had to say at the press junket, McMahon (Fantastic Four, Nip/Tuck), Bullock, and Yapo went to great lengths to treat the troubled relationship between Jim and Linda with the utmost respect.
Unfortunately, giving the emotional part of the story their all couldn't save it from itself. Bill Kelly's (Blast From the Past) script has plot holes a zillion miles wide. Let's just save everyone some time and say that it appears that even he had a hard time keeping track of all the things he decided happened on which day - most notably around an accident that befalls the Hansons' older daughter Bridgette.
I don't mean to give Premonition more analysis than it is due, but there are archaic and even antifeminist things parts of the story that just seem to be wedged in to suit the plot. First, Linda is a stay-at-home mom. Beyond the fact that we only see her ever doing housework (cooking, cleaning, dropping the kids off at school), there are other problems. She and her family can afford to live in a very nice Victorian home. Yet, she is hanging her laundry to dry in the yard, which makes even less sense when you see that she has a dryer.
In addition, they have an answering machine instead of voice mail. She looks through the phone book for a phone number instead of pulling it up online. And oddest of all--Jim is a car salesman for Ford, yet he drives a Taurus. Don't we think he'd be able to afford better, especially with an employee discount?
Yes, these are small problems. But they are indicative of a bigger issue of sloppy filmmaking as a whole. I can say that Yapo did a great job keeping track of Bullock's emotional arc, which coheres very well throughout the whole movie. But ultimately, that isn't enough to save this predictable thriller from itself.