Dark City

1998's Dark City by Alex Proyas (The Crow) is an eye-popping, mind-blowing breakthrough in Science Fiction - one that I had not gotten the privilege of experiencing until last night.

John Murdock (Rufus Sewell) awakens in a bathtub in a dirty hotel room. He gets up, collects himself and begins to stagger out, only to find a slain woman lying on the floor.

John has no memories of who he is or why he was in the room. He has no idea that he is being set up for the murders of 6 prostitutes he's never even met. Even stranger is the fact that when he emerges from the hotel, the entire city has stopped moving and everyone but him is asleep.

A group of beings from another planet, known only as The Strangers, have come to Earth in order to unlock the secret of the human soul. Their race is dying, and unless they find a way to live like humans, those remaining will die - and their civilization will be gone forever. They conduct strange experiments on individuals, and have the ability to alter time and change physical reality.

Jennifer Connelly (Dark Water, Requiem For A Dream) plays Murdock's wife Emma and Kiefer Sutherland plays the odd Dr. Schreber, who works for the The Strangers, helping them carry out their experiments in hopes of unlocking the answer to human life.

Inspector Frank Bumstead (William Hurt) is out to find the killer, who he believes to be Murdock. When he finds him - he is instantly trapped in a deadly, mysterious puzzle where none of the pieces fit, and no one can seem to remember the last time they saw sunlight...

Dark City is now a member of my top 10 favorite films, which in no way, shape, or form is an organized fashion to present to you - perhaps sometime soon I can re-evaluate the list and give you some more insight.

Just know that this film single-handedly shaped the style of The Matrix and also pays homage to 1927's Metropolis by Fritz Lang. It's one of the greatest Sci-Fi films... ever. This is my most reccomended of reccomendations - I urge you to go out immediately to your local rental store and find this DVD. Try to watch it late at night - around 11 p.m. or
Reviewed by: adam
11 Comment(s)
Shea said...
I was completely blown away by this movie. The Matrix athlough an amazing and groud breaking series falls into the wake of Dark City on many levels. It seems they have even shared the same sets.
Chris said...
Why not a 5? This has to be one of the best sci-fi films of all time. It has what most other sci-fi films don't care to even attempt.

A great plot and Storyline.

It forces you to think and question our own reality, are we really in control of our destinies, is everyday a new life changing every night unbeknown to us? This is by far one of my favorite sci-fi's of all time and i only attributes its lack of success to those unable to grasp the complex philosophical concepts and ideas it begs the viewer to debate and ask.

I also recommend watching this one with commentary after a full regular viewing, theres a lot of great subtleties threw the entire film.
Shea said...
Good point Chirs... here here 5 stars.

"A great plot and Storyline."

I mean that in itself puts it over Tranformers which unheralded so graciously gives 4.5.

Paul said...
...tread carefully Shea

This movie is nothing short of incredible. I read a great comment on a review site, wondering if the Matrix sequels sucked the way they did because they didn't have Dark City sequels to bite off of...a good question.

Style, acting, directing, story are all amazing. Such a tight and interesting sci-fi telling, which as Chis noted, makes you think and takes you on a ride with some depth for a change. The character of John Murdoch was brilliant, and I will say it, I care much more about him than Neo.

5 stars...easily
Shea said...
Can you imagine if Alex would have transfered his tone, mood, and style into I Robot? Wow...that could have ended up a great movie.
Paul said...
agreed
squib said...
This is most definitely one my favorite sci fi films. It was so smart and so out of the mainstream. I am a huge fan of William Hurt, so I usually try to watch stuff he is in, and I am really glad I watched this one. I found this movie at Walmart for $5.50!!! Pretty Awesome. I am glad you finally saw it Adam. Now if we could only get Shea to watch JFK......
Adam said...
Wow... why the huge backlash against a 4.5 as compared to a 5? haha. Sheesh.
Adam said...
I mean, I saw wrote this review at least 2 years ago, before I even really wrote reviews... so forgive my HORRIBLE underestimation of the film by denying it a .5 of a star...

I have deemed it a 5-star film... NOW GET OFF MY BACK
Andy said...
This is just the beginning of many rating corrections you will be making.
Chris said...
I only commented because it was in the Spotlight and Paul told me he watched it this past weekend. Just had to make my voice known!!