October 1, 2019

Try to Stay AWAKE

AWAKE (2019)
Starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Francesca Eastwood, Malik Yoba, William Forsythe. Directed by Aleksandr Chernaev. (92 min)

Review by Tiger the Terrible😾

A serial killer has raped, tortured and murdered five young women. The FBI think they have their suspect, who was driving the latest victim’s car with her body in the trunk. The problem is he’s in the hospital suffering from amnesia after being run off the road.

This John Doe (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) claims he couldn’t have done it, but neither agent Ward (Malik Yoba) or local Sheriff Bower (William Forsythe) believe him. However, kindly nurse Diana (Francesca Eastwood) does, so even after John Doe takes her hostage in order to escape, she decides to help him track down the real killer.

It's Hammertime.
The premise won’t win any awards for originality, but still has the makings of a tidy little thriller. Too bad Awake squanders it with uninteresting characters, lazy writing and lethargic pacing. The cast is decent, but their efforts are undermined by ridiculous story contrivances, such as Diana’s unconvincing motivation for risking her life and career to help a stranger who still may be the killer.

Furthermore, the hunt for the real culprit is dull and ultimately predictable due to a hamfisted bit of foreshadowing halfway through that practically screams “He did it!” Still, the story tries in vain to keep the viewer guessing before tossing in a late-inning red herring that confirms what we suspected. 

But even those issues wouldn’t be a big deal if the film actually moved. Laboriously paced, Awake is competently made, but in the end, it's an interminable waste of a good cast. After all, the main thing any thriller should have is an actual thrill or two.


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