Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama
Awake follows the story of Jill and her children, Noah and Matilda. After a mysterious event knocks all microchips out of commission, the people find out that they are unable to sleep. However, Matilda soon discovers that she has the power to sleep, which makes her desirable for others to find a cure. With her condition now known, Jill travels with her family to find a safe space for her children.
Jill, Matilda, and Noah are our three main protagonists. Jill is a former soldier who lost her husband. Jill is a strong-willed character with a history of drug-related issues, and as a result, her children don’t live with her. Matilda and Noah are Jill’s children. Matilda is a tough girl, but her innocence shows her age. Noah, on the other hand, is fully aware of his mom’s habits. He clearly blames her for the splitting of their family. Regardless, he’s a resourceful character.
Boy oh boy do we have a doozy of a movie today. Awake was an interesting movie with an interesting end of the world situation. Until this movie, I never realized how dangerous sleep deprivation can be.
Now, contrary to my usual style, I have to start with the positives, because there are actually plenty, if you looked at the first half of the movie. From the characters, to the catastrophic event, to the fallout afterwards, everything was done so well. I really liked that the characters weren’t able to sleep. It was an interesting take on an event that could cause mass extinction. I also liked the action that was found. The movie was tense and the reactions of everyone was very natural. If you only watched up to the halfway point, then you would be pretty satisfied.
There was only one real downside, and this is some minor spoiler warning. So, here’s your warning. Minor spoilers ahead.
The ending is what killed the movie for me. From the reveals of the catastrophic event, to the solution, to even another catastrophic event. Everything went to crap, to say the least. Honestly, there’s not much more I can say without spoiling anything. If the ending wasn’t so bad, there was a chance this movie could’ve cracked the nines.
So, to be frank, the first half of the movie was great. It was intriguing and engaging. But the back half kills all the momentum, and honestly it ruins the movie. Watch at your own risk of disappointment.
Favourite Moment (Spoilers):
My favourite moment of this movie is the first half. Not going to lie, everything that happened in the first half of the movie was captivating and my attention never wavered. It was only what happened with the ending that ruined this movie for me.
Awake is an interesting film for the sole fact that it is wildly uneven. The first half is highly entertaining with a plot that I was not expecting. The second half became nearly comprehensible in terms of what was going on and what the answer was to the question of what was happening in the film. To start with the good, I thought that the film had a strong opening, where we met our characters and got a sense of their dynamic but didn’t waste too much time before we got to the main conflict of the story. The idea that the story is based around is really different with the characters not being able to sleep. I was really engaged with the story and it moved at such a quick pace that I never felt like it lost my attention. The characters themselves weren’t that compelling but it was the scenario they were in that was intriguing. The standard single parent trying to protect their kids’ story is one you see quite often. The acting was good but nothing spectacular though the actors weren’t given tons to do. The action scenes are quite intense and they have such a panicked feel to them that you really feel the fear of the characters. The second half of the film is where it lost me as I didn’t understand what was going on and what the characters were hoping to accomplish. After that, it ends up being even crazier and makes no sense with an ending that was not satisfying in the slightest. The other issue is the lack of a clear explanation at any point in the film which made it confusing.
All in all, not a great film, that I won’t recommend due to the unsatisfying ending but if you want to check out something new there are worse things you could watch and it does have an interesting first hour. Head on over to Netflix and check it out.
Favourite Moment (Spoilers):
My favourite moment was at the end when all the military people went crazy and started killing each other just because it was crazy and went all the way with it. It also didn’t make tons of sense and surprised me.
Awake is a head-scratcher for me. The idea behind the movie sounds super interesting, and for the first 45ish minutes it is. The whole “wording ending” concept is a little bit oversaturated but I loved that there was a ticking clock and absolutely everyone was affected. It was something you couldn’t fight, so it was super interesting to try and see how they were going to solve the issue. The problem is the cause of this issue is ONE DIALOGUE LINE LONG. ONE. The entire point behind the movie is described in one line. Like 6 words. It’s awful. It feels like a cop-out and it is beyond too short. If you are setting up a dystopian world, the cause of the disaster is a huge part. This was the beginning of the end.
The characters aren’t too bad, but the development is nearly non-existent. We don’t get a ton of information as to why the family is split, everything just assumed, and we don’t know much about our characters before this disaster. The children, Noah and Matilda, were really good and they grew throughout the movie, but we know nothing about them pre-no sleeping. I loved the acting, regardless of the characters. Gina Rodriguez, Ariana Greenblatt, Lucius Hoyos, and Shamier Anderson were all really good and they are the positives in this movie.
Back to this monstrosity of a plotline. The first half was wonderful, it was so good, but the second half was so bad. The action and world-building carried this movie through 45 minutes, but then the lack of character and plot development finally caught up. We knew next to nothing about what was actually going on, and when we finally did it was disappointing. Proceeding the one-line explanation, the movie goes into chaos and the next 45 minutes made nearly no sense. The relief from a later explanation never came, and the glaring flaws shone through in the movie.
Honestly, I can’t recommend seeing this one. The first half gave such hope for the movie, but the lacking plot couldn’t be covered up by any amount of action. It went from interesting to straight-up weird so quickly, and I thought it was pretty brutal. Not a fan of this one.
Favourite Moment (Spoilers):
My favourite moment has to be the ideal panic. The total chaos that occurs from the start of the disaster was really well done from a cinematography standpoint, and I thought it was one of the most interesting and entertaining moments.