DVD Review: The Vow (12), (100 mins), new on DVD from Blockbuster.

Not generally known for being particularly persuasive or subtle on film, Channing Tatum gives a winning performance as a husband fighting to regain his wife after a tragic accident.

In this tale loosely based on real events, Tatum is Leo, a man forced to begin again when his new bride Paige (Rachel McAdams) loses all recollection of him and their life together after a car smash.

Worse, all she can remember is happy times with her parents – parents who leap at the chance to reclaim a daughter who can’t remember why she turned her back on them prior to meeting Leo.

Sam Neill and Jessica Lange as dad and mum peddle the lie of past happiness – which Paige unsuspectingly buys into; there’s even an old flame on the scene eager to get Paige back – all of which puts Leo in the worst possible position.

McAdams is excellent as Paige, an innocent torn between various people’s memories of her, but the surprise performance is Tatum’s. His skill is to make Leo’s basic decency wholly compelling.

You know that whoever has Paige’s own interests at heart is most likely to win the tussle, but Tatum makes the journey a fascinating one. Initial shock passes into optimistic hope which is dashed by Paige’s persistent inability to remember a thing about him. In the end, Leo slips into tragic acceptance.

Tatum gives Leo a suburban nobility as the tale becomes ever more touching and involving by the minute. In the background, Sam Neill is suitably sinister as a manipulative father shamelessly seizing his chance now that his misdemeanours have been wiped from his daughter’s memory.

Phil Hewitt

Rental courtesy of Blockbuster. For details of other new releases, see http://www.blockbuster.co.uk/