According to AnesthesiaPatientSafety.com, most anesthetic awareness problems involve only a fleeting sense of awareness where the patient may or may not feel pain.  Often, it’s more like a sense of pressure, and it only lasts a few seconds.  There have been incidents like the one in the film, however.  In 1990, a patient by the name of Jeanette Liska was forced to endure two hours of searing pain and awareness, which she described in her book, Silenced Screams, Surviving Anesthetic Awareness During Surgery:  A True-life Account.  Liska, who holds a doctorate of divinity and a doctorate of pastoral psychology, has since dedicated her life to awareness about this issue and is the founder and president of AWARE (Awareness with Anesthesia Research Education).

In the film, Christiansen (Jumper) offers his usual sleepwalking performance, punctuated by an occasional pubescent scream.  Alba (The Eye) matches him step for step.  She’s very attractive window dressing, however.  Neither looks old enough to drive, much less be wheeling and dealing with Japanese business moguls, so even the actors compromise the film’s integrity.

Olin (TV’s Alias) and Howard (August Rush) provide a modicum of relief, but nothing is enough to save this film from being pronounced D.O.A.  Fortunately, at just 84 minutes, it’s a quick death.

DVD EXTRAS:

  • Feature commentary with writer/director Joby Harold
  • Outtakes and bloopers
  • Theatrical Trailer

CAUTIONS:

  • Drugs/Alcohol:  Characters smoke and take an occasional drink.
  • Language/Profanity:  Profanities and obscenities throughout film, some strong.
  • Sexual Content/Nudity:  Young, unmarried couple kisses and makes love in several scenes (no nudity).
  • Violence:  Intense trauma related to anesthetic awareness, in which patient feels the pain of surgery but cannot communicate that he is awake; a woman hits a man; a man falls over a balcony and dies.