Hayden Christensen’s performance channels every ounce of his greatness previously established by playing Darth Vader in the latest Star Wars Trilogy as well as a troubled teenager in Life as a House. His joy is astounding to watch, especially when contrasted with his agony, which is perhaps the most horrible ever portrayed on screen.
This film explores the rare cases of patients being left conscious during agonizing surgeries. His character Clay, a billionaire philanthropist trying to living up to his own unrealistic expectations, is put through the trial of watching murderous third rate surgeons crank open his chest and remove his functioning heart for their own twisted financial benefit. Clay's best friend Dr. Harper is played by Terrence Howard, whose recent performance along side Jodie Foster in The Brave One, has earned him the distinction of being recognized as a truly great actor. Howard brilliantly portrays the ringleader of Hayden Christensen’s so-called closest friends. His acting ability is virtually untouchable; not enough can be written about his poise, lack of fake melodrama, and his ability to assume the identity of a character completely.
The two most intriguing characters in this movie are the overly protective mother played by Lena Olin, and the mysterious girlfriend/fiancé acted by Jessica Alba. At first Olin comes across as a sexy, uptight and overbearing older woman, but in due time transforms into an adoring, beautiful, and conflicted savior. Her counterpart Jessica Alba fails to act properly, or convince anyone in the audience that she is not as rigid, snotty and lacking in grace as much as her character seems to.
Juxtapose two of the most extraordinary actors of our time with one of the worst in modern memory, sprinkle in murderous heart surgery, family fortunes, betrayal, and this film, AWAKE, truly becomes the longest and perhaps the best 84 Minute move ever created.
Copyright © 2010 Screen Media, Inc. All rights reserved.
Certain product data © 2010-present Screen Media, Inc. For personal use only. All rights reserved.