This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be read as such. A review of the unedited version would likely be even more negative..which is hard to believe, but that’s just how bad this film is.
It’s time to look at another film that kicked the bucket. What’s impressive about Awake is that it is even worse than the last two films that I reviewed and manages to score a perfect 0. Trust me, that is pretty hard to do since you have to make a lot of mistakes and keep yourself from doing anything right. Awake pulled it off, but unfortunately, that isn’t something that it can really brag about in the future. The concept behind Awake doomed it from the start, but it doesn’t help that most of the main characters are fairly unlikable and/or not that smart though. Ah well…let’s dive into this!
Clay has had a serious medical condition for a while now. He must finally go for the risky heart transplant operation or lose it all. He wants his friend Dr. Harper to do the surgery while his mother wants him to go with the world’s greatest surgeon instead, but Clay refuses. He has a quick marriage with Sam and then decides that he is ready. Unfortunately, Dr. Harper plans to destroy Clay in his sleep and the truly diabolical part of this is that Clay is awake throughout the whole operation. He can try to endure the pain, but his fate is sealed.
There are a multitude of reasons why this film faces the 0 star review that only truly horrible titles earn. For starters, this plot is basically about Clay being tortured. He is strapped to a table and is being cut open while having no chance to do anything about it. He can’t even call for help since he is paralyzed. That’s a terrible plot premise and I can’t stand torture so a whole movie about that was never going to be higher than a 0. It’s just not fun to watch and I mentally checked out after the first 5 minutes. I’m still watching, but mostly looking for little things to enjoy as the reviewing phase of the film was already basically sealed. I could take off the metaphorical reviewing cap and call it a day. The rest of the film wasn’t much better though so even without the premise, it wouldn’t have gotten much higher than a 2 or a 3.
So, let’s try to look past the torture and the fact that the main character can’t actually do anything. What is the point of the film? If Clay can’t actually alter events in any shape of form, then his plot may as well not even be present. He is simply another spectator along with us and just adds in his own words to slow the pacing down. The film likes to stack the deck against him so things continue to go from bad to worse. This review will have full spoilers so you may want to back out now while you’ve still got a chance. If not, prepare yourself! See, Sam never actually liked Clay. She simply charmed and married the guy to get his money after his death. It’s not something that is incredibly uncommon either and it’s why you should think carefully before marrying someone that you met through dicey circumstances.
How did they meet? Well, Sam was the new maid/caretaker for the house. (Clay’s rich btw so he should be extra careful right?) Clay walked in one day to find her rummaging through his stuff and she had probably already stolen a whole bunch of things. Naturally, she quickly used his shallow “love at first sight” against him and he forgot about the whole thing. She very quickly got him to marry her after that and then set him up for the surgery with the leader of this crime unit. The best (Or saddest part for Clay) part is that this was all part of the plan from the get go. All of the villains knew that Clay would fall for Sam so there was never any doubt on that end. The trap was so thorough that Harper didn’t even bother to remove the picture of him and Sam from his office. Whenever Clay would visit, they knew that the main character couldn’t piece together the obvious parts of the puzzle.
Clay’s a terrible character in case you haven’t guessed yet. He never even notices when Harper is subtly mocking him the entire time and taking a lot of shots at the fact that Clay is rich. Ah well, I suppose you can’t be smart and rich. Wait a minute…. I didn’t care for the villains either though. It may have been desperate times for Harper, but to send Sam off to woo Clay shows where his priorities lie. Considering that she didn’t mind the assignment at all, you’ll likely see the backstab towards the end coming right from the get go. Luckily, the cops nabbed them all anyway which is good. It would have been annoying to have seen Sam escape after all of that.
The only two good characters here were the Mom and the World Class Surgeon. The Surgeon talked a good game and was able to help out a lot in the end so that was good. He was pretty confident and definitely could have pulled off the procedure. As for the Mom, she was an actual intelligent character, which was rare to find around these parts. She warned Clay that Sam was just in it for the money and also warned him not to go with the operation under Harper’s supervision. He never had the greatest reputation after all. It’s a shame that it ultimately cost the Mom everything, but at least she outsmarted the villains. If only Clay had been a little smarter with his decisions, things could have been different.
At the very least, Awake had a lot of twists, but while they would only really count as mild shock value. They certainly don’t help to fix this train wreck of a film. You can’t save a bad premise no matter how hard you try. Attack on Titan taught me that the hard way as it had a top notch soundtrack and an excellent director. It ultimately still had to continue with the premise though and that was game over. Having someone go through a surgery while conscious and watching everyone else betray him as he moves through time? That’s not going to slice any life into the film. (See what I did there?)
Overall, Awake is a film that you will definitely want to keep in the shelf. I suppose it can be used as a cautionary tale for rich people, but hopefully they have enough common sense not to marry a burglar who is extremely suspect the entire time. There’s nothing really good about this film at all and not even a reboot can save this one. It’s the kind of film that was doomed right from the get go. Now, if the film had started off with Clay dying instantly as they gave him a bad dose of anesthesia and he returns from the Spirit World as a The Ring esque villain, that could have some potential. It’d probably only get a 2 or a 3, but that’s better than this right? There’s another 0 coming soon though…so prepare yourself!