Review: 'Premonition' trite and dissapointing 

After last year's "The Lake House," it might seem an odd choice for Sandra Bullock to return with yet another convoluted romance about time travel, but here we have the equally puzzling "Premonition," in which she struggles valiantly to make sense of a plot that represents a logistical nightmare. One day, Linda (Bullock) awakes to discover that her husband, Jim (Julian McMahon), has died in a tragic car crash. The next day, he’s alive and well, leaving her to scramble for answers.

Sound confusing? That’s just the beginning. Linda’s week soon grows progressively worse: one minute, she's being committed to a psych ward, the next she’s rushing to the emergency room after her daughter dashes headfirst through a sheet of plate-glass. That these events occur in no particular order is by misguided design — "Premonition," like the far superior "Memento," is a thriller definedby its disjointed chronology, which may or may not be rooted in some kind of supernatural phenomenon.

Determined to save her family, Linda sets out to organize her days until she recognizes the patterns that lead to Jim's demise and its ugly aftermath. Along the way, she’s forced to confront some harsh realities — chiefly, that her marriage might not have been as harmonious as it seemed. Jim, she learns, was contemplating an affair with a pretty coworker (Amber Valletta), leading Linda to wonder whether his accident is such a bad thing after all.

Luckily, her priest (Jude Ciccolella) is more than happy to revive her sense of purpose, infidelity be damned. After patiently explaining that her visions are a divine gift intended to reveal her chosen path, he sends her to finish the job and, should it be God’s wish, save Jim in the process. From there, "Premonition" hastily recasts itself as a spiritual journey, as if screenwriter Bill Kelly painted himself into a corner and couldn’t think his way out.

Why, then, does Linda’s week devolve into time-tripping chaos? Who cares? Rather than justifying her curious case of deja vu, "Premonition" explains it away with trite philosophy — everything happens for a reason, as long as you have faith enough to accept it. Never mind that Linda’s spirituality comes into play only during the final moments of Kelly’s impenetrable script. It’s an arbitrary twist, an ending that resolves as little as it satisfies and, in the end, a disappointing misstep by Bullock after her surprisingly strong turns in "Crash" and "Infamous."

Premonition **

Starring Sandra Bullock, Julian McMahon, Shyann McClure, Courtney Taylor Burness, Nia Long

Written by Bill Kelly

Directed by Mennan Yapo

Rated PG-13

Running Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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