Nutshell Review: Awake
PG Score: 3.5/10
Awake was released on Netflix on 6/9/21
Awake is a bumbling, frustrating mess that fails to gain any semblance of momentum. Misfiring in virtually every area, Netflix’s latest apocalyptic adventure is a disaster.
The movie centers on a global catastrophe that removes humanity’s ability to sleep and destroys all electronics. Gina Rodriguez stars as Jill, a former soldier who fights to protect her children, Noah (Lucius Hoyos) and Matilda (Ariana Greenblatt) in the aftermath of the event. When it becomes apparent that her daughter may possess a solution to the crisis, she grapples with her morality as the fate of mankind hangs in the balance.
Apart from one impressive sequence in the first act, Awake is a truly dismal affair. While some suspension of disbelief should be granted given the unique spin on the end-of-the-world premise, the way the plotline unfolds is absurd. Writer/Director Mark Raso clearly wants the film to be taken seriously, yet he presents ridiculous story developments at every turn. As the plot nears the finish line to finally be put out of its misery, the preposterous logic reaches its lowest point as important questions are answered. The revelations are silly enough that Raso would likely have been better off leaving viewers in the dark.
Pacing and Character Issues
To make matters worse, the film is weighed down by sluggish pacing and uninteresting characters. One of the only (unintentional) saving graces of the otherwise boring experience is the ludicrous writing, which is so terrible that it is occasionally good for a few laughs. While there should be no credit given to anyone involved with the atrocious screenplay, at least some humor can be found by those willing to suffer through the rest of the 96-minute runtime.
Gina Rodriguez has seen success throughout her career in supporting roles and excelled as the titular character of the comedy series Jane the Virgin. Despite her proven track record, she is dreadful in Awake. Her co-stars do not fare much better as each performance is utterly uninspiring. The poor writing does not do the cast any favors, but Rodriguez's acting would have still been lacking with a better script. Her delivery and mannerisms are severely out of sync, and it feels as though she is simply going through the motions. Her hollow performance weakens an already forgettable movie.
Do Not Waste Your Time
Plagued by nonsensical dialogue, a foolish narrative, and dull characters, the film provides little reason to stay awake.