Robert who? Oh, forget it.
By Michael O'Sullivan
Friday, March 12, 2010
In attitude, if not aptitude, Robert Pattinson in "Remember Me" comes across like a latter-day James Dean. Playing Tyler Hawkins -- a bohemian child of privilege consumed by Oedipal rage -- the "Twilight" hunk fills the screen with cigarette smoke, stubble and hooded green eyes, but little else.
Ostensibly, the movie is the story of an angry young man (Pattinson) and his emotionally bullying father (Pierce Brosnan). The plot is set in motion when our hero, who hates all forms of oppression, is arrested after trying to stop a street fight, then mouthing off to the investigating cop (Chris Cooper).
Enter the cop's beautiful daughter, Ally (Emilie de Ravin).
Egged on by his wisecracking college roommate (Tate Ellington), Tyler starts dating Ally as a way to get back at her father but ends up falling in love with Ally without meaning to. And of course, Ally finds out that Tyler was using her and breaks up with him. (Tyler and Ally, by the way, have dark secrets. We learn about hers -- as a little girl, she watched her mom get shot -- in the movie's opening sequence. Tyler's mysterious back story -- told in a series of letters addressed to an unidentified "Michael" -- takes a little longer to come out.)
But there's something else hidden inside this overripe tale. Some won't even notice it at first.
For others, the movie contains a plot twist so stunning, yet so stunningly obvious, that it functions like a kind of ticking time bomb in the corner of the screen. After the first hint of what's coming -- which crops up less than 10 minutes into the movie and then doesn't let up -- the foreshadowing becomes so distracting that, by the time the darn thing goes off, there's only a sense of relief.
Contains obscenity, gun violence and fist-fighting, sensuality, smoking and other disturbing thematic material.