Dreamcatcher


Directed by: Lawrence Kasdan
Written by:William Goldman, Lawrence Kasdan
Starring: Thomas Jane, Damian Lewis, Timothy Olyphant, Jason Lee, Morgan Freeman, Tom Sizemore
Released: April 3, 2003
Grade: C

Dreamcatcher is a horribly confusing thriller which is always off balance and rarely making sense.  Four guys in their early 30s, Henry (Jane), Jonesy (Lewis), Pete (Olyphant) and Beaver (Lee) are on a hunting holiday out in the snow covered woods.  All of them can read other people’s minds.  On this point, the reason how they can do so isn’t clarified until well into the film and even then I wasn’t satisfied.

Anyway, with Henry and Pete out in the car, Jonesy and Beaver come across an injured man in the woods.  He’s suffering from mild hyperthermia, has a nasty red rash and an extremely bad case of gas.  They leave him to rest in the bedroom before joking about his situation between themselves.  Outside the window, they see hundreds of animals fleeing the area.  Exactly what are they running away from?

Mmm, should I tell you?  In the interests of giving the film a chance for those who do want to see it, I better not.  The script degenerates into a jumbled mess.  There are flashbacks to try to explain the past but seems to glaze over important details.  In the current time frame, Morgan Freeman and Tom Sizemore enter the picture as an important character but I cannot believe how small and underdeveloped their roles were.

The flick is adapted from a novel by thriller guru Stephen King.  Over 60 films have been made from King novels but Dreamcatcher is far from his finest works including The Shawshank Redemption, Misery and The Shining.  I haven’t read the novel but I assure you it must be better than the book.  As is always the case, there’s more room in a novel to explore details and it’s the lack of these details which gave this cinematic interpretation no chance of success.

Take a pillow also because it clocks in well over the two hour mark and there’s a fair chance you’ll be dozing during the later stages.  Director Lawrence Kasdan (The Big Chill, The Accidental Tourist) doesn’t extend himself and seems content to churn out this mediocre product filled with lame editing and plot inconsistencies.  The only plus are the visual effects which were created from a team led by Stefen Fangmeier (Twister, The Perfect Storm).

To insert my traditional lame joke, this film certainly wasn’t capturing any my dreams in what I’d like to see in a motion picture.  I only hope it doesn’t give me nightmares.