Veterans of the genre Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum star in Michael Sucsy‘s The Vow. It’s another romantic drama that capitalized on the Valentine’s Day crowd and that’s about it. The Vow is simple, mostly predictable, but still kind of sweet and charming, despite its obvious flaws. It won’t change your mind about its actors or the genre as a whole, but it will provide you with enough to not hate it.
Leo (Channing Tatum) and Paige (Rachel McAdams) are a married young couple with their whole life in front of them. A tragic accident puts the two of them in the hospital. Leo wakes up with a few scratches and cuts, but Paige is thrown out of orbit, with a brain injury that has caused her to forget all recent memories and only remember the times before Leo.
This obviously puts a kink in the relationship as Leo must now does everything he can to get Paige to fall in love with him…again. Paige is back to her old way of thinking, with focus on schooling and making her father (Sam Neill) proud, while Leo is trying to get her to remember her more recent life events like becoming an artist and living life by her own terms.
Things come together and The Vow becomes another romantic drama that you’ve probably already seen before. What makes it kind of weird is that is stars two actors that have made a fair share of these kind of films, so they enhance the dialogue and emotional drama that is expected from the characters, but they also make you wish they were spending their time and effort in something more original or worthy of their talent
The Vow is a step backwards for Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum, but some can say it’s simply a refresher course for them, allowing them to make some decent money and act in a familiar environment.
Director Michael Sucsy keeps The Vow flowing, but it does take its sweet time getting to the end. We all know exactly where a film like this is going and occasionally there’s a few scenes that feel like they could have been cut to help the running time feel a little tighter. Sucsy doesn’t open up the film and let us tackle some of its deeper elements, but it does make you feel warm and fuzzy knowing that some people out there believe in true love and some people will do virtually anything to keep that love going.
It’s problematic for Tatum’s character, because he is a flawless individual in the film. There’s not a single moment where you think he’s going to give up hope or move on and that kind of ruins the even structure. McAdams’ character has more than one mess up, but Tatum exemplifies the perfect boyfriend/husband character that every lady probably dreams of.
The Vow works within its genre restrictions, but it doesn’t offer anything new for outsiders looking in. I don’t mind a flick like this once a year, but it’s not something I’d ever return to, even if I somehow lost my memory and forgot that I ever watched it.
The 1080p video transfer is crisp and detailed, much like all new Sony releases. I often like to watch romantic dramas on Blu-Ray, because it challenges the director when it comes to making a scene that is bright, colorful and full of life. The Vow has an exceptionally well transfer that lives up to all of those things I mentioned before.
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is a perfect example of how to make a dialogue-heavy film benefit from a lossless audio track. Voice clarity is enriched with several layers of quality detail and the rest of the track has energy and excitement to keep you occupied.
The Vow comes with the following bonus material:
- Audio Commentary
- Deleted Scenes (HD)
- ‘Til Death Do They Part (HD)
- Profiles of Love: Paige and Leo (HD)
- Trying to Remember (HD)
- Gag Reel (HD)
- Previews (HD)
- DVD Copy
- UltraViolet Digital Copy
The Vow doesn’t gain any points for going out of its way to remind you that romantic dramas are almost always the exact same thing. It also doesn’t lose points for actually starring two actors that know exactly how to get the best emotional response out of you for their particular characters. The genre is mostly used as a launching pad for attractive young men and women that usually don’t have much talent, yet The Vow stars two veterans that have gone on to star in stuff so much better.
Michael Sucsy is a competent director, but not one willing to take any risks, at least in The Vow. It’s an acceptable Valentine’s Day film or something to snuggle up on the couch and watch with a loved one, but it’s not going to win you over for its script or ability to surprise you.
The Blu-Ray is yet another impressive one from Sony, with a DVD and UltraViolet Digital Copy to help ease you into the purchase. I think most will know what they’re getting into with The Vow and if it’s your sort of film then by all means check it out.
The Vow features two more than capable leads, but one predictable and formulaic story that goes exactly where you'd expect it to.