The Dead Zone is a science fiction film directed by David Cronenberg, based on the Stephen King book of the same name. The plot sees Johnny Smith (Christopher Walken), awaken from a coma to see that five years have passed, not only that but he can now see into the future. Johnny then has to decide how he is going to use his power going forward.
I might be a bit bias, because I am quickly becoming a Walken fan, but I think this film is terrific. I think it is nice to see a King based film that is not an out and out horror, though there is nothing wrong with that. I find that as a thriller this film poses some interesting moral questions that are fun to think about after the film ends.
Walken is a strong lead and plays the role with the right level of otherness, to never really feel like he fits in in any situation, but also the right level of charm that we believe him as a hero who is trying to help people.
My one complaint of the film would be the second act. I think the first and third acts are both strong, they’re interesting and engaging and they move along at a nice brisk pace, however, the second act really feels like filler. Not only that, but it is also by far the slowest part of the film and is almost a drag to watch at times and you are desperate for something, anything to happen.
Overall, a strong King adaption that begs some interesting questions and has a great lead performance in Walken.
The moral questions
The tedious second act.
Reviewed by Luke