ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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The Forgotten (2004)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Joseph Ruben

Starring:
Julianne Moore/Telly
Dominic West/Ash
Gary Sinise/Dr. Munce
Alfre Woodard/Det. Pope
6 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
Telly (Moore) is mourning the death of her son…or is she? Over a short period of time, hard facts regarding her son’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 out…the hard way!
THE LOWDOWN
Before I start my review, this should be said: when I first saw the trailer for "The Forgotten", I felt echoes of Brendan Hood’s original screenplay for THEY (read my review of it here). THEY, the film, belonged to the producers who totally re-wrote Hood’s script (like 95% of it). Now that I’ve seen "The Forgotten", it is uncanny as to how many similarities it shared with Hood’s original screenplay. Brendan, if you’re reading this...go see this film with a Doberman and your lawyer. Could be something or a coincidence…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 “I didn’t see them coming” 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'être" behind the madness was finally disclosed, I can’t say that I was sky-rocketed out of my “Bean Bag”. Sure, the idea had its charms, but it was far from unique and would’ve needed more of a spin to give out the necessary impact. It definitely didn’t fulfill me when taking into account all that I went through beforehand. Lastly, I was half-half on the peculiar “abductions” on display. On the one end, they had me screaming “By the beard of Zeus!” 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 can’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 (aren’t I clever)? Your call, champs! Cue in X-Files theme song! Da-Da-Da-Da…Da-Da…
GORE
Was there even light blood in this film? I forgot (get it…forgot…Forgotten…LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL!...urg…I’m such a tool).
ACTING
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 didn’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. Can’t get sexier than that!
DIRECTING
This movie wouldn’t have been half as appealing without Ruben's visual panache communicating it. I was a slave to the man’s camera, his inventive shots, the bleak atmosphere and the surprises via novel editing. Good work, bud!!
SOUNDTRACK
The somber score by James Horner cracked my skull and amplified the excitement level of the picture.
BOTTOM LINE
"The Forgotten" could’ve been a contender with its combination of solid acting, fly directing, captivating initial premise and glorious score. Too bad the screenplay wasn’t up to snuff when it came to its tightness and taking its better ideas far enough. I recommend that you either read Brendan Hood’s screenplay here, for a much more ambitious take on the same material, or rent "The Forgotten" on a Sunday night, sing “I love scotch. Scotchy, scotch, scotch” and have a cozy evening. This one has solid “rental” stamped all over its left butt cheek.
BULL'S EYE
Nicole Kidman was once attached to star in this film.

The flick was shot in New York City, USA.
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