Awake

Film
2 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars
Joby Harold’s slick but silly medical thriller fails to exploit its attention-grabbing gimmick, ‘anaesthetic awareness’ – although sedated, rich kid Clay (Hayden Christensen) remains conscious during heart-transplant surgery. As surgeons cut through his sternum with an electric saw, and prise open his ribs to reveal his defective heart, he hears them plotting to kill him and steal his fortune.

Why did Clay suspect nothing when, seconds after his spontaneous marriage to the beautiful Sam (Jessica Alba), the hospital phoned with news of a  replacement heart? Perhaps he was preoccupied with the reaction of his over-protective mother, Lilith (Lena Olin), to his secret nuptials. Sam and Lilith also clash over the mother’s attempts to replace Clay’s surgeon friend, Dr Jack Harper (Terrence Howard), with her own man.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell the difference between Christensen’s conscious and anaesthetised states, even when Clay’s ‘out of body’ self starts padding about in his hospital pyjamas, his monotonous voice-over commenting on the unfolding drama. The medical madness spirals off the chart, the credibility factor flat-lines, and the laughing gas kicks in.

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