Synopsis: Highbrow thespians produce Karmic clunker.
Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “Mike Church (Kenneth Branagh) is a LA gumshoe with a knack for tossing off wisecracks and tracking down missing persons. But Church doesn’t have a clue when he’s hired to help a beautiful amnesia victim (Emma Thompson) tormented by bloodcurdling nightmares. Then an eccentric antiques dealer and hypnotist (Derek Jacobi) leads Church to a startling discovery: The source of the nightmares may lie in a past-life connection to Margaret Strauss, a world-famous pianist allegedly murdered by her composer-husband Roman...in 1948.”
What Did I Learn?: My ears could have done without those five or six scenes of Emma Thompson screaming in terror.
You Might Like This Movie If: You can’t get enough of British actors attempting American accents.
Really?: The story of Dead Again is based upon the idea that people have led past lives, and those past lives are easily accessible through hypnosis. Ok, I’ll go along with the premise, but would a trained psychiatrist (Robin Williams) actually accept that? And would the real killer think he found the reincarnated soul of the woman he murdered because of a flimsy missing persons story in the newspaper?
Rating: I have to give Dead Again an “A” for originality, but the film doesn’t really expand beyond a clever idea. The 1948 scenes are rather turgid and melodramatic, the script eventually stops making sense, and the finale (involving a giant pair of scissors) is so over-the-top silly that I simply shook my head in disbelief. 5/10 stars.