One of the most ambitious but least successful films in the early 1980s sci-fi wave that dealt with brain research and/or telepathy in some way or form. William Hurt had tried his luck in the not too effective Altered States a couple of years prior, before David Cronenberg offered a more visceral (obviously) with his Scanners and followed up with the intriguing The Dead Zone. The latter was Christopher Walken's good performance in the 'psychic sci-fi' sub-genre of 1983, as Brainstorm finds him in one of his tackiest performances. The reason might very well be Douglas Trumbull who clearly devoted his time to the visuals in this projects. These are technically impressive, but looks invidiously like a bad 2001 copy in the lacklustre finale. Until then, we've been presented a fairly interesting premise in which a team of scientists discover a way to record and play back sensory experiences. The customary power struggle between the idealistic scientist and the cynical authoritarians seems worn and unmotivated, and the film's narrative progress gets stuck as Trumbull concentrates on effects - including a completely ridiculous scene towards the end in which the machines get back at the humans. Thirty years prior, that might have been a relevant cautionary message, but in this otherwise ambitious film, it falls completely flat.