The Awakening (2007)

Posted by Mrs Giggles on June 29, 2019 in 2 Oogies, Idiot Box Reviews, Series: Masters of Science Fiction

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The Awakening (2007)
The Awakening (2007)

Main cast: Terry O’Quinn (Albert Skynner), Elisabeth Röhm (Lt Granger), William B Davis (The President of the United States), Julian D Christopher (General Mackenzie), Malcolm Stewart (Colonel. Dingham), Doron Bell (Kirby), and Samir El Sharkawi (The Iraqi), and Stephen Hawking (The Host)
Director: Michael Petroni

Albert Skynner is a retired military man who is currently living all zen-like and in harmony with nature. He is dragged back into service by Lt Granger under the very directive of the President of the United States, though, for a curious reason: a mysterious alien-thing has been discovered in Iraq, and it can communicate via telepathy and make people of various languages understand one another. It also tells the folks on Earth to disarm and stop fighting, or die. The President is like, okay, we attack those buggers first, woo! He’s the bad guy, though, as far as this episode is concerned, so The Awakening is another episode done by science-fiction communists who believe that you need a totalitarian authority to force you to behave in a certain manner in order to achieve utopia, while at the same time demonizing the POTUS for being the “wrong” kind of totalitarian authority. In other words, it’s the communists’ way or die. Or, in other other words, communism.

And yet, the “wrong” kind of totalitarian authority eventually accepts the “right” way, so actually, one can argue that he is a better alternative, as he is capable of learning and listening to opposing points of view. The “good” totalitarian authority touted here is the kind that says, basically, do what it says or GTFO and die.

More bizarrely, this one has the POTUS being lectured by the leaders of Russia and China, who are apparently not only proponents of human rights and benevolence now; these guys also willingly submit to a mysterious force many are calling God. Did Michael Petroni, who also wrote the script, know anything about the real life situation of the early 2000s? Sure, this is based on the short story The General Zapped an Angel by Howard Fast, who was a communist, but Mr Petroni could have adapted the story is a more believable manner. Instead, I have the POTUS being lectured on divine faith and human rights by… the leaders of Russia and China. I won’t lie: I laugh out loud at the whole thing before deciding that Mr Petroni is probably not a very bright gentleman.

While generally well-acted despite Terry O’Quinn’s occasionally hammy effort to impersonate a cartoon character, the script itself is heavy-handed and absolutely hard-to-believe. Mr Petroni was probably so outraged by the Iraqi war taking place under President George W Bush’s tenure that he forgot that his outrage alone couldn’t carry a logic-defying “I hate the USA so, so much like I love Russia and China blindly because… communism is awesome!” script to the finish line. This is such a typical example of Hollywood activism – stupid yet arrogant to a laughable degree.

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