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
-Danny, Bucket Reviews (11.10.2004)