Movie Review: Awake (2021)

Synopsis: When an unknown force knocks out all electronic devices, including those in cars, it doesn't take long to figure out the same event stopped people from being able to sleep. Jill's daughter, Matilda, is the lone exception, something that forces Jill to flee with Matilda and her son, Noah out of fear of what might happen to the girl as the sleep-deprived world grows increasingly insane.

Who's in it? The movie stars Gina Rodriguez, Ariana Greenblatt, Lucius Hoyos, Shamier Anderson and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

Review: I came across this movie on Netflix a couple days ago and the trailer made it look interesting enough for me to add it to my list. I ended up watching it with my wife tonight and was pleasantly surprised.

I think the thing I liked most about this movie was the mystery surrounding what happened. It was something that happened without warning and without any explanation (until later in the movie) so it was unclear whether it was a terrorist plot, aliens or something else. The fact only Matilda (Greenblatt) and one other person were immune only added to the mystery.

Another thing I liked about this film was how it paced the action. There were enough pauses to add character depth, but the movie didn't let itself get into a boring lull. Some of those action scenes were pretty intense too, especially early on, when they were in a church and things escalated quickly to the point people wanted to sacrifice Matilda.

One of my biggest concerns with this film is it would take the route of so many others and not make an effort to explain anything. Fortunately, that wasn't the case. Nothing was explained in great detail, which would make sense given the plot, but there was enough information for the viewer to not be completely left in the dark either.

My only real complaint is the movie goes out of its way to portray the one scientist, Dr. Murphy (Leigh), as a villain but I honestly didn't see it. I guess I could understand why Jill (Rodriguez) would be apprehensive because she had a history with the doctor that included torturing terrorists but there was nothing at the military base that made it seem like Matilda was in any danger. If anything, Murphy seemed to be taking great care to keep the child comfortable. It made it hard to really see her as anything more than someone who was trying to find a cure.

Final Opinion: There were a few scenes that reminded me of other movies but other than that, I thought this was a unique and entertaining film. It's one I'd recommend taking the time to watch if you enjoy action movies and mysteries.

My Grade: B+


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