Dreamscape (1984)

(editor’s note-I’m not doing a 100 films project this year, just reviewing films as I see fit… enjoy!)

Dennis Quaid stars in Dreamscape as Alex, a young psychic who spends his days using his powers to win money gambling on horses and hustling others on unfair bets.  Gaining a reputation for his extraordinary talents, he is approached by a private institution who has developed a technology to enter someone’s dream, in helps of relieving chronic nightmares.  Amazingly, Dennis discovers that he doesn’t need the special technology at all and can enter the dreams of others by his own devices-which also comes in handy as he attempts to romance Jane (Kate Capshaw) who is one of the researchers.  As he becomes more skilled in this new venture, another young hotshot psychic at the institution, Tommy Ray (David Patrick Kelly-yeah!) is jealous of his quickly rising competition.

Meanwhile, it is revealed that the President of the United States himself is suffering from chronic nightmares and is entering treatment, but an evil turncoat government operative (Christopher Plummer) has aligned himself with Tommy Ray and is conspiring to kill the President in his dream (apparently if you die in the dream, you die in real life…).  As Alex juggles his budding romance with Jane, he must figure out how to save the President – and himself from the minds of determined and crazed assassins.

Produced in the early/mid 80’s, Dreamscape is wildly ambitious and inventive with a fun storyline which would end up being re-hashed over 25 years later (and admittedly improved upon by Christopher Nolan’s Inception) but this film is fun all the way through with a solid line-up of entertaining characters and touches of sci/fi, fantasy and comedy.  Quaid is likable and carries the film with ease while Kate Capshaw is actually quite a delight (my only real exposure to her is from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom-and while I think she was o.k. for that role she got quite annoying at times).  David Patrick Kelly also plays a great villain with his never ending charisma and smarmy attitude.  For those who love crazy 80’s movies, you can’t miss out on this.

4 enthusiastic stars out of 5

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Categories: Movies

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