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Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> July 2000 >> Dead Again

Dead Again

Movie Commentary by Scott Ventura


Scott's Rating:
5 / 5
Times Seen:
Viewing Date:
July 2000
IMDB Name:
Dead Again (1991)
Kenneth Branagh
mystery, romance, suspense
MPAA Rating:
R for language and violence.

It's Alive!

Dead Again almost hums with energy. Scott Frank's combination of superstition, mystery, and romance is terrific. The plot jumps around through time without getting lost, a skill also later employed by Frank for Out of Sight. The movie is overflowing with style, but has credible performances and great writing that keep it from getting to be too much. The Patrick Doyle score also lends massive doses of atmosphere. This is a thriller that doesn't insult the audience at all, but is still creepy as all get- out. It is also suffiently clever in its resolution that despite having seen it a few years ago, I didn't remember most of the details of the ending.

Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson both give terrific performances as modern day people. Thompson's foray into the past is much more successful than Branagh's. Since Branagh is famous mostly for his Shakespearian efforts, you'd think he'd handle anachronistic roles with aplomb, but perhaps this one doesn't go quite far enough back. Either that, or the German accent gets in the way. Robin Williams puts in a performance with enough acid to it that it makes me sad to think of the heartwarming crap he seems to be exclusively interested in these days. Derek Jacobi's performance as Madson is quite good.

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Copyright 2000-2002 by Scott Ventura. All rights reserved.