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DVD Review

DVD cover



Starring: Jessica Alba, Hayden Christensen
and Terrence Howard
Icon Home Entertainment
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 15
Available 25 August 2008

Clayton Beresford Jr., a successful young business tycoon living in the shadow of his deceased father, has a relationship with Samantha Lockwood, a woman in his employ, which progresses to the point where they want to marry. However, the tycoon has been keeping the affair secret from his domineering mother whom he knows will disapprove. So he decides to undergo a quick, private wedding ceremony and inform his mother afterward. No sooner has he achieved this than the hospital contacts him with news of a donor heart. Obliged to undergo a life-saving operation to replace his own weak heart, the young businessman finds himself awake during the operation but unable to move. Not only does he feel every cut, but he soon discovers that the people he called friends are not who he thought they were...

Awake is a conspiracy thriller which dips one toe in the realms of supernatural fantasy. Hayden Christensen (the adolescent Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars prequels) is much more convincing here as a trusting successful businessman duped in love for a scheming gold-digger (played by Jessica Alba) and her greedy associates.

The idea of somebody waking up during surgery, unable to more or speak but subject to the feeling of every cut, is a solid and convincing premise which works very well here. I'd go so far as to say it's unnerving to watch the heart surgery scene whilst listening to his mind screaming out in agony and outrage.

The solid manner of moving the young tycoon character into the realms of fantasy is for the script to have his traumatised mind place him anywhere but in the operating theatre, thereby having him learn about the plot to see him off for his money. In this manner, his mind reflects on previous conversations and clues he should have recognised at the time.

Although predictable in places, Awake is a powerful thriller which should entertain (or at least keep interested) both mainstream and genre viewers.

Extras include Deleted Scenes; an Audio Commentary by writer/director Joby Harold; a Making of... Documentary; and a Storyboard to Film Comparison.


Ty Power

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