AWAKE (2021) Reviews of Netflix sci-fi survival thriller

 

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Awake is a 2021 American sci-fi survival film about a devastating global event that disrupts electronics and sleep patterns. Meanwhile, a female former soldier may have found a solution with her daughter.

Directed by Mark Raso (Kodachrome; Copenhagen) from a screenplay co-written with Joseph Raso (Z-O-M-B-I-E-S and sequels; Zombies and Cheerleaders), based on a story by Gregory Poirier (National Treasure: Book of Secrets; The Stranger 1995 Death Riders).

The movie stars Gina Rodriguez, Ariana Greenblatt, Lucius Hoyos, Shamier Anderson and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

Plot:

Global hysteria ensues after a mysterious catastrophe wipes out all electronics and takes away humanity’s ability to sleep. Scientists race against the clock to find a cure for unexplained insomnia before its fatal effects eliminate the human race.

When Jill (Gina Rodriguez), a former soldier, discovers her young daughter may be the key to salvation, she must decide: protect her children at all costs or sacrifice everything to save the world?

[May contain spoilers] Reviews:

” …writer-director Mark Raso is unexpectedly uncompromising, but the time crunch is never as urgent as it needs to be. Despite being deadly serious with a few misplaced attempts at humor (Matilda finds out that Noah and his girlfriend “did it”), Awake too often dares you to laugh at this silly sci-fi nonsense.” The Artful Critic

“The actual resolution of the story isn’t satisfying, but it does present baptismal imagery that some viewers might respond to in a more spiritual way, with Raso trying to work in Christian ideas without giving up the coarseness of the effort. Awake has its issues with Bird Box-ing and cruelty, but the production pulls out of a few dramatic tailspins competently, and the general stress of the premise is felt throughout the viewing experience.” Blu-ray.com

Awake is teeming with potential from its catastrophic concept, yet it fails to deliver anything fresh or exciting. The imagery is possibly the most disappointing of all […] When the final act devolves into gunfire, experimentation, and medical mumbo jumbo, it becomes even more obvious that this Netflix thriller is a letdown.” Josh at the Movies

“For all of its predictability and set pieces limited by a modest budget, though, Awake benefits from lean, efficient storytelling, a cast wholly committed to the central premise, and a climax/denouement that refuses to cheat the audience of a proper ending (i.e., as opposed to a sequel-ready one).” Screen Anarchy

“As for the film’s climax, it involves a defibrillator and some magical thinking whose arbitrariness the script doesn’t even try to mask behind the hyper-vague science-y talk it had deployed up to that point. Watching Awake is less like experiencing the delirium and stress of a sleepless week and more like being stuck in a confusing but not particularly interesting dream.” Slant

Release date:

Awake will stream on Netflix from June 9, 2021.

Cast and characters (where known):

Gina Rodriguez … Jill
Ariana Greenblatt … Matilda
Lucius Hoyos
Shamier Anderson
Jennifer Jason Leigh
Barry Pepper
Frances Fisher
Gil Bellows
Finn Jones
Sebastian Pigott … Clarence
Sergio Di Zio
Alex House … Scarred Soldier
Michael Hough … Burly man
Trevor Hayes … Actor
Shawn Ahmed … Hub Technician
Julia Dyan … ‘Spiders’ Nurse
Helen Hayden … Carrillo
Jim Carey … Sunrise cultist
Robert Bazzocchi … Seaman Apprentice
Chai Valladares … Male Nurse
Julia Chantrey … Nurse
Katerina Taxia … Greek Mother
Martha Girvin … Church Member
Liz Adjei … V.A. Nurse
Elias Edraki … Petty Officer Diaz
Meaghan O’Connor … College Student
Greg White … Church Member
Richard Cunningham … Sunrise Cultist

Technical details:

96 minutes

Trailer: