Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Awake (2021)

Streaming Services: Netflix
Movie Name/Year: Awake (2021)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama
Length: 96 minutes
Rating: TV-MA
Production/Distribution: Entertainment One, Netflix, Paul Schiff Productions
Director: Mark Raso
Writer:  Gregory Poirier, Joseph Raso, Mark Raso
Actors: Gina Rodriguez, Shamier Anderson, Dan Beirne, Gil Bellows, Frances Fisher, Ariana Greenblatt, Lucius Hoyos
Blurb from IMDb: After a devastating global event wipes out all electronics and eliminated people's ability to sleep, a former soldier may have found a solution with her daughter.

Selina’s Point of View:
Awake wasn’t quite as original as I’d hoped, but I still really enjoyed it.
There were tropes. There always are, though. What impressed me about the utilization of them is that Awake did manage to subvert some.
I mean, when I see an apocalypse movie and a character is shown to have insulin-dependent diabetes – or some other illness that they need constant access to medication for – I immediately know that’s going to come into play. They’re going to lose their insulin, or it’ll be stolen, or they’ll just run out and it’ll be a whole thing. Although they showed a character taking insulin early on in the film, they didn’t take the road that trope normally goes.
I know that seems small – but I have NEVER seen an apocalypse movie do that. Not ever. I’ve seen everything from insulin, to inhalers, to anti-psychotics get lost. It’s such a recurring side-plot, that I go into every movie like this assuming it will be a thing. I’m usually right.
Not all of the tropes were subverted, but a few did go the way of the not-missing-insulin. Which was nice.

It did end the way I thought it would – but there was so much suspense leading up to it, that I didn’t mind. The whole flick felt incredibly fast-paced. About 7-minutes in, the catalyst for the apocalypse happened and there were no more chances to take a breath.
I didn’t feel time move.
Gina Rodriguez (Annihilation, Kajillionaire, Carmen Sandiego) made me feel every moment of her character’s journey to protect her kids. Ariana Greenblatt (Scoob!, Love and Monsters, In the Heights) also did a stunning job. I believed her. There were moments that she played her character so well, that it heightened my immersion – despite my not having any issues with that to begin with. She’s young, but she’s already got a decent amount of experience. If she keeps going, she’ll be a future A-lister.
The reviews are showing that a lot of people disagree with me about Awake. I think they’re wrong, and I think Awake has the chance to become a cult film. There are going to be people like me who see mostly good in it. It’s just a matter of how many.
Time will tell.

Cat’s Point of View:
I’ve been looking forward to Awake since I saw the trailer. It felt like this would be a fresh take for the disaster-flick genre.
In recent years, there have been TV shows and films featuring loss of electricity in the world – however nothing quite with this particular flavor for the apocalypse. It was fresh and intriguing. I went in with so many questions.
I wish I could say that I got some answers, if not the ones I was hoping for. There’s a mild explanation that left me fairly dissatisfied on that front – it felt like a few throw-away lines. I get it that the delivery was given while the character was generally delirious, but you’d think there’d be more substance to it.
Aside from that, the rest of Awake had my attention and I was far from any danger of zoning out.

Gina Rodriguez was impressive, as usual, in her role as a young mother with a troubled past now fighting for her children’s future. I enjoyed seeing this new facet to her range -- portraying someone desperately trying not to unravel. 

We should definitely keep our eyes on young Ariana Greenblatt. She’s come a long way from the precocious younger sister in Disney’s Stuck in the Middle (2016-2018), and I have a feeling her career is only going up from here.
Aside from a few great moments here and there, I’m afraid there weren’t a lot of elements in Awake to set it apart from the majority of the productions that focus on the crumbling of society – whether from disasters or illness.
In any case, I’d still give Awake a recommendation as a good warm-up movie to kick the summer season off. It might not blow your socks off, but it’s not a bad flick.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 38%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 33%
Metascore – 36/100
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 5.1/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating4.5/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating3/5
Movie Trailer:

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