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The repetitive grip of Jacob's Ladder, the dual-consciousness of
Avatar, the “impossible” romance of Somewhere in Time and The Lake
House — there are a lot of previous movies inside this one. It gets
by, barely, on tight, get-right-to-it storytelling, a quiet, lovely
Jake Gyllenhaal performance, and genuine chemistry between him and
Michelle Monaghan. The plot is sort of Inception for Dummies (and I
freely admit to being lost in Inception almost from the inception).
But the post-finale surprise isn't well-enough explained. Nor, come to
think of it, is the entire mechanism by which Jake enters and returns
from Parallel World. As one of the “villains” — Jake's DOD handlers
— Vera Farmiga has the toughness of a Mimi Rogers, but not the
presence; she's colorless. And Vera's boss, Jeffrey Wright, has a
literal acting crutch. All told, not quite good enough. — Jeff Schultz

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