The Forgotten (2004)
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Review Date: September 20, 2004
Director: Joseph Ruben
Writer: Gerald Di Pego
Producers: Joe Roth, Bruce Cohen, Dan Jinks
Julianne Moore
Dominic West
Gary Sinise
A really sad mom is taken aback when she is told that the dead child for whom she'd been weeping for over 14 months, never really existed in the first place, and was basically just a figment of her warped, semi-psychotic imagination. The woman can't believe this to be true and soon enough, finds another man who also lost his child in her "imaginary kid's" plane accident and together, they attempt to figure out whether or not they're nuts or if some crazier shit is going down. Crazier shit ensues.
I don't see this movie blowing anyone away, but if you're looking for a serviceable thriller with a touch of mystery and a couple of decent lead performances, you might want to check it out, even though it feels an awful lot like a mediocre "X-Files" episode at times. I guess the thing that ultimately sets this movie apart is that it actually managed to keep me intrigued most of the way, with little clues providing a touch of insight as it swiftly moved forward. There ultimately isn't all that much "meat" to the story, but I liked the way they eventually went with the plotline, appreciated its otherworldly aspects and most of all, liked Mr. Dominic West's presence, an actor with great charisma, a nice command of the screen and acting talent to boot. Look forward to seeing what he's going to do next. Julianne Moore was okay in the movie, but to be perfectly honest, her role didn't seem all that much of a stretch, with rampant moments of grief, crying and confusion all around. I did like the strength of her character though, a woman who might just be nuts, but who might also be one of the most persistent and loving mothers in the world. The film does eventually feel a little redundant with one chase being followed by a "huddle sequence" in which the two leads try to figure out what's going on, followed by yet another chase scene and so forth, and Moore's character is either pretty damn lucky and super-athletic, or the folks chasing her are just really bad at their jobs (and when you consider what they do...that's a sad statement on its own). But overall, the film managed to keep me within its simple grip, with a basic "missing child" premise leading to many questions and plenty of theories.

Looking back, plot holes might reveal themselves to be bigger than they were while watching the show, like how many strange events seem to be taking place out in the middle of everyone, but almost no one seems to notice anything. The film also seemed truncated in parts, like it was edited away for time or something. I can't really discuss any of the intricacies of any of that here though, since it would likely give away part of the film's mystery, which is ultimately, its saving grace. It also offered a few "jolt" moments, specifically one involving a car crash that had me feeling like I was in the crash itself, a couple of decent special effects (much like the "money shot" from its trailer...think "sucking"!!) and I'm really glad that they didn't slap a cheap "romance" into the mix, since that wouldn't have made much sense within the parameters of the story. Ultimately, you have to ask yourself this question though: can any film featuring an "...and Anthony Edwards" tag at the end of its cast credits really be bad? And even though the answer to that question is a very obvious "yes", forget you ever asked yourself that question, and question whether or not the memory of that question ever existed in the first place. Intrigued? (yeah, I know...I'm lost too) If so, slap on some dour cologne, buy yourself a bottle of Jack before entering the theater or better yet, check into this movie when it comes out on video, and revel in some of its basic conspiracy tendencies. It's not a mind-bender a la MEMENTO, but the film did keep me going for most of its way and that's saying a lot about any movie these days.
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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