Is Sandra Bullock losing it Just when you thought her taste in choosing projects (based on appearances in the decent indies “Crash” and “Infamous”) and acting were improving, along comes “Premonition,” Bullock's second consecutive thriller after “The Lake House” that's based on the notion of time-travel.

As unexciting as “The Lake House” was, it benefited from a romantic angle and co-starring role of Keanu Reeves, but “Premonition” lacks those elements, since Julian McMahon's character disappears right at the beginning of the story.

Helmed by Turkish-born German director Mennan Yapo, “Premonition” is marred by a senseless, inane script from Bill Kelly, one on par with Joel Schumacher's latest disaster, “The Number 23,” in which Jim Carrey also engages in time-travel.

Over the past ten years, Bullock, never a versatile actress, at least had a good nose for commercial properties that featured her likable personality (and masked her limited acting chops) to an advantage, films like “Forces of Nature,” the “Miss Congeniality” film series, “Two Weeks Notice,” and so on.

In “Premonition,” Bullock plays Linda Hanson, a woman who has a beautiful house, a loving husband and two adorable daughters. Linda's life seems perfect until the day she receives the devastating news that her husband Jim (Julian McMahon) has died in a car accident. For a devoted wife and mother like Linda, its the worst she could imagine.

But did the accident really happen or did she imagine it When Linda wakes up the following morning, Jim is very much alive, even drinking coffee in the kitchen. At first, Linda believes the accident must have been a nightmare. Then it happens again; some days Linda awakens to find Jim is next to her alive and well, while on others, she awakens as a widow. Linda appears to be living her life out of order.

Lindas traumatizing premonition is meant to set off a series of puzzling, time-altering events. Her world is turned upside down as the surreal circumstances lead her to discover that her perfect life may not have been all that it appeared. Desperate to save her family, Linda begins a furious race against time and fate to preserve everything she and Jim have built together.

Screenwriter Kelly piles up a list of ridiculous situations–with unbelievable characters to match. Linda must avoid a nasty physician, Dr. Norman Roth (Peter Stormare), who threatens to put her in an institution, and also prevent her younger daughter from scarring her face.

It takes Linda the whole yarn to unveil whats happening. And when the end credits roll, you will feel betrayed since Linda's random time traveling makes no sense. Along the way, the script offers some clues that have to do with Nature (a dead crow and the lightning that killed it, which Linda witnesses) and Religion (with mumbo jumbo statements about bizarre cosmic forces that feel like references to Shyamalan's pictures).

“Premonition” almost comes to a halt during some monologues from a local priest, who tries to account for Linda's ordeal in terms of her irregular church attendance! To put Linda's mind at ease (), the priest says things like, “History is full of unexplained happenings,” and “Nature abhors a spiritual vacuum.”

The visual fog through which Linda walks for half of the picture extends to a narrative fog that envelops the entire movie. Inexplicably, particularly for am American screen heroine, Linda is passive, taking an almost fatalistic approach to the events in her life until the last reel in which, also inexplicably, she decided to take action.

Even by standards of routine psychological thrillers, “Premonition” contains huge logical gaps and plot holes and yet the movie doesn't steer clear of arousing our emotions through the use of cheap tricks. More than one scene in this picture is risible, and I expect that many viewers will chuckle at the movie's finale (which can't be revealed here).

Bullock is at the right age to play a woman unsure of her surroundings, torn between the complete control by which she has been leading her life, and accepting her fate. But here she renders a disappointingly dull, unmotivated performance.

It's still hard to tell how gifted Julian McMahon is, since he's given no role to speak of. We get hints that Jim is a hard-working father facing an uncertain future. McMahon is stil far more impressive on the small screen (“Nip/Tuck”) than on the big one (“Fantastic Four”).

Kate Nelligan, as Linda's mother, and Nia Long, as her best friend, do what they can with their roles, which are sketchy and under-developed.

The subtext of a bored, inebriated suburban housewife who rebels against her domestic chores is rather interesting and could certainly yield a more interesting picture than “Premonition,” which is peculiarly both under-baked and over-baked.


A TriStar Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures and Hyde Park Entertainment presentation of an Ashok Amritraj/ Offspring Production
Directed by Mennan Yapo
Screenplay: Bill Kelly
Produced by Ashok Amritraj, Jon Jashni, Adam Shankman, Jennifer Gibgot and Sunil Perkash
Executive producers: Andrew Sugerman, Nick Hamson and, Lars Sylvest.
Cinematography: Torsten Lippstock
Production design: Dennis Washington
Editing: Neil Travis
Music: Klaus Badelt; Buck Damon music supervisor.
Costume Design: Jill Ohanneson


Linda Hanson (Sandra Bullock)
Jim Hanson (Julian McMahon)
Dr. Roth (Peter Stormare)
Annie (Nia Long)
Joanne (Kate Nelligan)