The idea of anesthetic awareness is scary enough that throwing in a murder mystery plot might sound lame and unnecessary, but it added a nice little twist to the situation. The surgery scene itself was pretty intense. Hayden Christensen's narration and ETERNAL SUNSHINE method of walking through his consciousness bordered on cheesy, but the very idea (not sure how plausible it is) is psychologically creepy as hell.
Surprisingly, the dramatic parts actually worked for me as well, with the concentration on character for the first part of the flick actually paying off in the latter half when stuff started going nuts. Neither Alba nor Christensen convinced me they'll be winning acting awards any time soon, but they didn’t have me screaming “Razzie!” either. Lena Olin is logic-defyingly sexy as usual, Terrence Howard says his lines convincingly enough and even George Minkowski himself, Fisher Stevens, shows up for some face time.
Writer/director Joby Harold throws in a couple decent twists, but the movie pats itself on the back a bit too much without fully earning it. At one point I think Christensen actually says, "Wow, it's so obvious I can't believe I [you] didn't see it coming!" There’s also plenty of plot holes and corniness to go around, but overall AWAKE sported an original idea and executed it fairly well.
Deleted Scenes (9:28): One of the cut sequences is a first person POV of a date with Jessica Alba. That’s the closest we’ll ever get, lads.
Under The Knife and Behind The Scenes (13:11): Your typical BTS feature with interviews and snippets of footage.
Storyboard to Film Comparison (8:44): Not a big fan of these, especially when it’s just people standing around talking.
Extra Tidbit: I can't remember the last time I reviewed a movie and Terrence Howard wasn't in it.