Despite the ironically fascist intelligentsia that demands you like this movie or surrender your Mensa membership, I found it quite poorly done and self-indulgent. I found viewing it in 2005 particularly annoying. As Ebert says, this movie views as a free association romp atop of Orwell's 1984. The effects were great for 1985, but that doesn’t wash today. I found myself wanting for computer-generated graphics. The lead actors were convincing, but lacked chemistry. The film is entirely too long, taking over two hours with essentially little plot movement. Yet, it was the inane dream sequences that ultimately ruined the film for me, taking out any tension the main story may have gained.
Additionally, dark humor doesn't play well these days for me. In our post 9-11 world, who has the audacity to laugh while bombs go off in restaurants with victims squirming, or while woman are destroyed by plastic surgery until they pour out of their coffin. Ha ha.
Gillam is a leftist loose cannon, and while I have enjoyed some of his other work (12 Monkeys especially), it’s clear he needs adult supervision in the editing room, and perhaps beyond.