Welcome to Rekall, the company that can turn your dreams into real memories. For a factory worker named Douglas Quaid, even though he’s got a beautiful wife who he loves, the mind-trip sounds like the perfect vacation from his frustrating life – real memories of life as a super-spy might be just what he needs. But when the procedure goes horribly wrong, Quaid becomes a hunted man. Finding himself on the run from the police – controlled by Chancellor Cohaagen, the leader of the free world – Quaid teams up with a rebel fighter to find the head of the underground resistance and stop Cohaagen. The line between fantasy and reality gets blurred and the fate of his world hangs in the balance as Quaid discovers his true identity, his true love, and his true fate.
A mysterious Hollywood stuntman who moonlights as a getaway driver seems to be trying to escape his shady past as he falls for his neighbor – whose husband is in prison and who’s looking after her child alone. Meanwhile, his garage mechanic boss is trying to set up a race team using gangland money, which implicates our driver as he is to be used as the race team’s main driver. Our hero gets more than he bargained for when he meets the man who is married to the woman he loves.
Director Tony Kaye (“American History X”) creates a unique and stylized portrait of the American education system seen through the eyes of substitute teacher Henry Barthes (Adrien Brody). Henry wanders in and out of students’ lives, imparting knowledge where he can in the short time he has with them. Then a new assignment places him at a failing public school run by Principal Dearden (Marcia Gay Harden) and alters his insular world. Henry’s stoic front is slowly chipped away by three women who impact his view on life: a student (newcomer Betty Kaye), a fellow teacher (Christina Hendricks), and a teenage runaway (Sami Gayle).
Kaye has molded a contemporary vision of people who become increasingly distant from others while still feeling the need to connect. He assembles an astounding ensemble cast that includes Lucy Liu, Blythe Danner, James Caan, Tim Blake Nelson, William Petersen, and Bryan Cranston, but it is Brody who carries the film on his able shoulders. He magnificently captures Henry’s complex psychology, using great nuance and intimacy to express the feeling of living in a world of people who either choose to ignore or are just ignored themselves. –David Kwok [Synopsis courtesy of The Tribeca Film Festival]