The car chase, which the special effects involving Cris’s stolen car getting smashed to pieces by a speeding train, is awesome and looks really great in this HD-DVD version. It’s a little showy and over-the-top, but this is why you bought your HD-DVD player, folks.
Unfortunately, the movie can’t sustain the initial promise of Cris’s amazing powers. The plot quickly settles into a paint-by-numbers route that doesn’t surprise very often. Even more unfortunate is that the really big surprise at the end frustrates many viewers. I’m sure when it was conceived that a lot of the people who worked on the film thought the twist was totally amazing. But I felt cheated, and I bet a lot of other viewers did too.
Hollywood also decided to add a love story to the mix. Jessica Biel stars as Elizabeth Cooper, the only person Cris has been able to see more than two minutes into the future. He’s actually seen her four months before he gets the chance to meet her, which leads him to believe she’s important. She’s a teacher on an Indian reservation.
I have to admit, the sequence of “future” takes where Cris tries to figure out how to best approach her was hilarious. And the action sequences where he fights her ex-boyfriend so easily because he knows where all the punches are coming from led me to think about what it was going to be like for the FBI when they tried to lock him down.
Later, when Cris is almost apprehended by the FBI while at the mountain cabin, the action totally goes over the top. Fleeing down the mountain a few steps ahead of an avalanche of boulders, logs, and vehicles would normally be cool. But Cris makes it look too easy. I didn’t have to see into the future to know that he was going to avoid everything. Even the sequence where Callie stands up to him amid all the wreckage and the impending doom and asks him if he’s just going to let her die is telegraphed. It just had to be. You’d think he’d have seen that somewhere along the way and been able to factor that in.
Another big problem with the film is the threat of the terrorists. We never find out who they are, or even who they’re working for, or what they plan on doing with the nuclear weapon they’ve hijacked. They remain, throughout the film, an unshaped force of impending doom. I also didn’t understand why they killed the casino security guy, but I think it was just to show they were bad men and to give the movie a body count early on.