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The Forgotten /

Rated: PG-13

Starring: Julianne Moore, Dominic West, Gary Sinise, Alfre Woodard, Anthony Edwards

Directed by: Joseph Ruben

Produced by: Joe Roth, Bruce Cohen, Dan Jinks
Written by:
Gerald Di Pego
Revolution Studios

Julianne Moore in Revolution Studios' The Forgotten
Julianne Moore and Dominic West in Revolution Studios' The Forgotten
Julianne Moore in Revolution Studios' The Forgotten

     Director Joseph Ruben reintroduces us to the ways of the true Hollywood thriller in The Forgotten, promising suspense and several jaw-dropping moments, after a recent cinematic-drought of films of its kind. For the most part, he delivers, using every goofy-good trick in the big-movie-book-of-goofy-trickiness. In his Rubenís picture, characters can outrun and out-plot NSA agents and still have time to lounge around and be hysterical in the meanwhile. I like his dumb but fun approach, in and of itself; it has been awhile since a real guilty pleasure has been offered to moviegoers. However, as entertaining as it sometimes may be, I was never fully enraptured by The Forgotten; it is interesting without being engaging. I was considerably indifferent towards it, as a result of this, and was not able to ever wholeheartedly embrace it. 

     By the end of the movie, viewers discover that nothing that was said in the beginning was completely true. The Forgotten skates along on a rather ridiculous chain of events, shifting gears in its third act from the territory of a standard-issue suspense story to more of a half-assed science-fiction-centered one. This airy plot wouldnít have mattered to me if it had hooked me in more. The sleek sense of imagery and cool franticness only impress for so long. I was rather amused when watching The Forgotten, yes, but for some reason, it didnít always hold my attention, brisk style and all other redeeming features taken into consideration. Nevertheless, it is just fun enough that it will merit a rental, sometime down timeís line.

     Julianne Moore leads the cast as Telly Paretta, who is told that she imagined and created her own son in her mind, who she believes to have died in a plane crash, by all of her associations. She simply cannot fathom such, as she vividly remembers the boy. Moore is excellent, as always, tugging a certain amount of sympathy from the audience, but still remaining blank enough to allow the twists of the plot to progress, and remain the focus of the film. Dominic West, who plays the father of a former-friend of Tellyís son, cannot boast the same talent. His character originally denies having a daughter (she supposedly died in the same plane crash as Tellyís son) when Telly confronts him about the incident, but then he suddenly remember her, later helping Telly escape the police and the NSA, who are on her case, for a reason involving her son that is not fully discovered until the filmís end. West is entirely generic in his role, neither detracting from nor adding to the success of The Forgotten. Worth mentioning alongside the two leads is Gary Senise, who provides us with an interesting portrait of Tellyís progressively puzzled psychiatrist.

     While I came out of The Forgotten in an entirely forgetful mood, I cannot deny that it represents feasible fare for the average viewer. I used to find immense liking in motion pictures of its kind, even if I wasnít fully immersed in them, as I watched them. Each time that I began to zone out during the screening of The Forgotten that I intended, I remembered this point in time, and I was able to hang with it, albeit by a short thread, for the simple sake of reliving my former cinematic tastes. I suppose that, perhaps, such ability came with a certain amount of effort, but interest is interest and, even if The Forgotten isnít exactly as enthralling as it should be, I was able to find a relative amount of enjoyment in it. If nothing else, it offers proof that brain-dead stories do not always make for bad movies. Do you get my drift? I didnít think so. Oh, well, maybe next timeÖ

-Danny, Bucket Reviews (11.10.2004)

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