The Forgotten (2004)
Director: Joseph Ruben
Gary Sinise/Dr. Munce
Alfre Woodard/Det. Pope
Telly (Moore) is mourning the death of her sonâ€¦or is she? Over a short period of time, hard facts regarding her sonâ€™s existence inexplicably vanish and people who knew her boy have forgotten about him. Did she make up her offspring? Is she one punch short of a blind beating? Or is there a higher force at play? With the help of groovily-named boozer Ash (West), she aims to find outâ€¦the hard way!
Before I start my review, this should be said: when I first saw the trailer for "The Forgotten", I felt echoes of Brendan Hoodâ€™s original screenplay for THEY (read my review of it here). THEY, the film, belonged to the producers who totally re-wrote Hoodâ€™s script (like 95% of it). Now that Iâ€™ve seen "The Forgotten", it is uncanny as to how many similarities it shared with Hoodâ€™s original screenplay. Brendan, if youâ€™re reading this...go see this film with a Doberman and your lawyer. Could be something or a coincidenceâ€¦but it should be explored.
The film itself wound up being a decent sit-down, nothing to snap rodent-necks about really, but an amusing and quality-inclined time killer nonetheless. Ably directed by the criminally underrated Joseph Ruben (the man behind the great "The Stepfather"), "The Forgotten" pulled me into its black hole right off the bat with its intriguing premise, kept me there by speed-dealing its chain of events via a slew of hair-raising chase bits and backhanded me with a couple of â€śI didnâ€™t see them comingâ€ť turns (that car crash ruined me!). It surely helped that the protagonists we had to tag along with were played by the wonderful Julianne Moore and the charismatic Dominic West. Think a constantly weeping Scully and a barfly Mulder! Fun shite! Both actors were mucho credible in their roles and made the tomfoolery going down around them believable/involving. Moreover, the coating wrapping this lollipop upped my viewing pleasure where Rubens gave the flick a touch of class through gripping overhead shots and slickly executed flashbacks. Baby looked good!
Regrettably, "The Forgotten", forgot to script-doctor its screenplay before the shoot. Random plot holes, some badly veiled mystery and odd character reactions were abound while the narrative became somewhat tedious during its middle section. At an hour in, the ride simply ran out of juice to fill up its clock time before its whopper of a revelation. So it treaded the same ground over and over like a redundant drunk sailor in search of his canoe. We get it...she remembers her son! CAN WE MOVE ON ALREADY! In addition, once the "raison d'ĂŞtre" behind the madness was finally disclosed, I canâ€™t say that I was sky-rocketed out of my â€śBean Bagâ€ť. Sure, the idea had its charms, but it was far from unique and wouldâ€™ve needed more of a spin to give out the necessary impact. It definitely didnâ€™t fulfill me when taking into account all that I went through beforehand. Lastly, I was half-half on the peculiar â€śabductionsâ€ť on display. On the one end, they had me screaming â€śBy the beard of Zeus!â€ť when they occurred, on the other, they were unintentionally very comical. I felt like I was at the circus or something!
Overall, "The Forgotten" played like an X-Files Light episode. I canâ€™t say that much stayed with me after my sit-down with it, but at the same time, I was easily entertained for a buck and half and came out of the cinema with a smirk on my silly face. Are you going to remember or forget to see this one (arenâ€™t I clever)? Your call, champs! Cue in X-Files theme song! Da-Da-Da-Daâ€¦Da-Daâ€¦
Was there even light blood in this film? I forgot (get itâ€¦forgotâ€¦Forgottenâ€¦LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL!...urgâ€¦Iâ€™m such a tool).
Julianne Moore (Telly) is simply a good actress, the Meryl Streep of our time, in my opinion. Here, she hit all of the right emotional notes throughout. I had never heard of Dominic West (Ash) before this film, but I liked what I saw: the man was natural and endearing...especially when holding a drink in his hand. Gary Sinise (Dr. Munce) was aces as per usual, but didnâ€™t he play this part too many times? Sure felt like it. Alfre Woodward (Det. Pope) did fine within her limited screen time whereas Anthony Edwards (Jim) was on and off.
T & A
We get Moore in her undies-- did you catch the long luscious legs on that trinket? DAMN! The ladies were blessed with Dominic West drinking like a gentleman that needs another drink. Canâ€™t get sexier than that!
This movie wouldnâ€™t have been half as appealing without Ruben's visual panache communicating it. I was a slave to the manâ€™s camera, his inventive shots, the bleak atmosphere and the surprises via novel editing. Good work, bud!!
The somber score by James Horner cracked my skull and amplified the excitement level of the picture.
"The Forgotten" couldâ€™ve been a contender with its combination of solid acting, fly directing, captivating initial premise and glorious score. Too bad the screenplay wasnâ€™t up to snuff when it came to its tightness and taking its better ideas far enough. I recommend that you either read Brendan Hoodâ€™s screenplay here, for a much more ambitious take on the same material, or rent "The Forgotten" on a Sunday night, sing â€śI love scotch. Scotchy, scotch, scotchâ€ť and have a cozy evening. This one has solid â€śrentalâ€ť stamped all over its left butt cheek.
Nicole Kidman was once attached to star in this film.
The flick was shot in New York City, USA.