After five years in a coma following a car crash, schoolteacher Johnny Smith discovers he has the gift of second sight, and is able to prevent several fatal accidents. However, every time he uses this power, he becomes closer to death himself.
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It's too bad Christopher Walken isn't offered more leading roles, instead of being pigeonholed into quirky character acting. The Dead Zone reveals his presence on screen to be quite captivating and he's able to convey subtle emotions effectively.
I tend to think that Cronenberg is not the most sympathetic handler of actors, but he, Walken and Brooke Adams do a good job here. Sheen is also hammily terrifying, as the politician who is left holding the baby at the end, in all the wrong ways for his career. Its belief in the input of normal people into changing the world is oddly touching, even quaint, whereas Sheen's demagoguery still seems chillingly relevant.
Love the fact that Christopher Walken is reading the book Sleepy Hollow, movie where he play Hessian Horseman 15 years later, and that Martin Sheen is running for for President election, character he actually played in The West Wing.
i'm fond of this film for atmospheric rather than technical reasons. there's something really pure about it. and i think there's a beautifully balanced idea of justice at the end, which of course i didn't take literally. many of us don't need second sight to spot corruption, in global politics or among the individuals we meet; it just felt nice to be reminded of faith in that in a 'magic-realist' way.
...another of Cronenbergs quiet, unsettling films. No real body horror involved here (except a bizarre suicide scene) - Walken is surprisingly decent. A nice counterpart to the more hysterical early King adaptations Shining and Carrie.