Bad Boys for Life
Forgot your password?
Don't have an account? Sign up here
Got more questions about news letters?
Already have an account? Log in here
and the Terms and Policies,
and to receive email from Rotten Tomatoes and Fandango.
Please enter your email address and we will email you a new password.
We encourage our community to report abusive content and/ or spam. Our team will review flagged items and determine whether or not they meet our community guidelines.
Please choose best explanation for why you are flagging this review.
Thank you for your submission. This post has been submitted for our review.
Sincerely, The Rotten Tomatoes Team
Dennis Quaid played the same guy in all of his early work: smirking jock. Here that character has psychic abilities that allow him to smirk and to enter dreams just in time to save The President (Eddie Albert, pocketing an easy paycheck) from his bad dreams. Max von Sydow and Christopher Plummer, hearing that easy paychecks we're being giving out, stop by to get theirs too, why not? This could have been more, but it isn't, so what?
An 80's journey into the psyche and imagination. Completely B-movie material but fun. Not as fun as They Live! And probably won't hold the attention of a millennial or GenY. But maybe nostalgic for GenX who enjoyed the campy 80s.
Dreamscape: 5 out of 10: Not to be confused with Innerspace (The one with Martin Short) Dreamscape has Dennis Quaid as a psychic mind reading never do well kidnaped by a government agency to work in their dream program. A great cast and premise are let down by a poor script and story as well as some underwhelming action beats.
The Good: The cast here is great across the board. Max von Sydow and Christopher Plummer? Why you are just one, Christopher Lee, away from a trifecta of awesome. Dennis Quaid is at maximum smirk level, Kate Capshaw is surprisingly sexy and you even have George Wendt in a cameo of sorts.
The premise of being able to enter peoples dreams and change their minds or fix their psychosis is a fun one that has been revisited over the years by better properties. (Or even the same year by Nightmare on Elm Street.)
The Bad: All movie universes have rules. The rules can change throughout the movie as a major plot point (See The Matrix) but overall good stories work within the rule set that they themselves set up. Dreamscape is all over the place.
It is established Dennis Quaidâ(TM)s character is psychic which allows him to enter other peoples dreams. Can he also see the future? The movie is unclear. Obviously reading peoples minds would not help him win money at the horse track. Yet the film sets him up as doing just that. (Poker player is a much more obvious choice.) They also have him being chased by track people for I assume winning too much which makes zero sense if you have any inkling about how betting at a large state-run horse track works.
On the other hand, if he can see into the future why would he make the idiotic choices that he does? Câ(TM)mon to think of it if he can read minds why doesnâ(TM)t he realize who the bad guys are well before the audience. (In all fairness you donâ(TM)t hire David Patrick (Warriors, come out to play-i-ay.) Kelly to be a good guy.
Can you die in a dream? The entire plot revolves around a planned assassination during a dream but the opening dream sequences clearly show that you are not killed in a dream. The movie seemingly changes its own rules halfway through.
The Ugly: What is Christopher Plummerâ(TM)s endgame in this thing. Here has a tool to enter peoples minds and change the way they think (Inception) and instead he is thinking all Freddy Kruger complete with claymation snake monster. Even if he succeeded one can clearly see it would not work out the way he wanted it to.
In Conclusion: Great cast basically wasted on tepid sci-fi premise. Special effects are of the time so I can excuse them but the action sequences wouldnâ(TM)t be out of place in a lighthearted Quincy episode. The charisma of the leads isnâ(TM)t enough to carry the tepid romance and the excellent chops of the bad guys are helpless against their lame-brained scheme. Passable curiosity piece and time capsule but it never really rises above its own averageness.
Dreamscape (Rifftrax edition): 4 out of 10: Janet Varney and Cole Stratton guest star as riffers and it does not work out well. Dreamscape provides plenty of material for a really good riff, unfortunately, our guest riffers leave most of it on the table. What they do bring to the table is some very low hanging fruit punctuated by lots of silence. There is also seemingly no real connection or banter between the two where one feels they recorded their riffs separately. Honestly, they add nothing to the movie and are at best a distraction.
Thinly written characters with no personal problems outside the plot. No real antagonist for most of the movie, so the absence of conflict just causes the story to sag. Then the finale goes on forever.
Still interesting, though the special effects are obviously not up-to-date
This is one of those 80s movies I watched on VHS over and over again and dearly loved. Dennis Quaid plays a cocky young psychic who's recruited for a scientific study to enter into the dreams of another person. Their hope is to assist people experiencing traumatic nightmares by entering into their dream and helping them overcome whatever it is that is plaguing them. One such dream is a young boy experiencing nightmares about a "Snake Man" tying to kill him. According to this film's "rules," if you die in a dream, you die in real life. One psychic was already "lost" after going into the boy's dream. That sequence is one that was burned itself into my own young brain and was quite scary back in the day. Watching it now, it's still nicely scary and I also very much enjoyed the German Expressionist influenced production design elements of the nightmare sequence, along with the awesomely retro claymation Snake Man. But the main plot is about the president of the United States having nightmares about ending the world with nuclear war and those nightmares are influencing his real-life decisions. Now enter another cocky young psychic, an excellent David Patrick Kelly, who is (SPOILER ALERT) being sent by an evil Christopher Plummer into the dreams of the president and kill him, so it's up to Quaid to stop him. The battle between Quaid and Kelly in a surreal dream world remains suspenseful, exciting, and visually interesting, even if the special effects are wildly dated. "Dreamscape" was directed by underrated director Joseph Ruben, who also directed underrated thrillers like "The Stepfather" and "True Believer," and it was co-written by Ruben and Chuck Russell ("Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors" and "The Mask"), so it's a smart talented group of filmmakers behind the camera. Also behind the camera is cinematographer Brian Tufano, who'd previously shot "Quadrophenia" who would later go on to shoot on films like "Trainspotting" and "Shallow Grave." Top all that off with a surprisingly strong supporting cast that includes Max von Sydow, Eddie Albert as the president, Kate Capshaw, George Wendt, Larry Gelman, Peter Jason, and Chris Mulkey, along with a fun synthesizer heavy score by Maurice Jarre, and you get a highly enjoyably retro 80s sci-fi film that's pretty hard to resist.
A little dated and it wasn't as amazing as I expected it to be, but a captivating film with an interesting concept nonetheless. (First and only viewing - 7/21/2018)
Somehow...this was pretty good...
Dreamscape is a disappointing film. It is about to help people who experience recurring nightmares. Dennis Quad and Kate Capshaw give horrible performances. The screenplay is badly written. Joseph Ruben did a horrible job directing this movie. I was not impressed with this motion picture.
I wasn't too impressed with the film. its about a psychic who gets involved with a project to get inside of people's dreams and he uses his power mostly for good. but the other psychic is evil and he uses his power to help a bunch of government dicks try to kill the president. but the good guy gets in the presidents dream and saves him. it probably sounds better than it is because i was fairly bored watching it and i barely made it til the end.