Movie Review: Dark City


Watched Dark City a couple of weeks ago, but just haven't been in the mood for posting on Trifle lately. One of those movies that made the jump to the top of my Netflix queue and I have no idea where it came from! No wonder I have over 150 titles in my queue; I just keep throwing them on there.

Anyway, Dark City was a pretty highly acclaimed sci-fi movie from 1998 with themes reminiscent of "playing with their reality" movies likeThe Truman Show with maybe a touch of Sin City. A little too over the top for me, and lacking the unique style of Sin City.

Dark City is a place used by "aliens" as a sort of playground to try and figure out the human race. Kiefer Sutherland (over)plays the part of a human co-conspirator, helping them out with their experiments (although I don't think it is explained why they need his help). William Hurt plays a police inspector, trying to track down a prostitute serial killer (now there's a new one, eh?), who he suspects is Rufus Sewell's John Murdoch.

Murdoch uncovers some strange things about the city (Why is it always dark? Why can't anyone tell him the way out?) and resolves to solve the problem using his newly discovered telekinetic powers. A huge and drawn out battle ensues, and some of the mysteries are cleared up, but not all of them. Isn't that deep?

I dunno if I was watching the same movie the IMDB commentators were, that's for sure. I didn't even think it was that particularly visually stunning, never mind the lazy storytelling and the ending which seemed to replace noise with resolution. It was okay, not entirely a waste, but I'm not even sure I'd go so far as the three out four stars the Leonard Maltin reviewer gave it.


[this is good] I've always thought that Dark City was about 3/4 of a good movie.  I may have liked the visuals more than you (plus that creepy ticking noise that the aliens made sticks with me to this very day), and Keifer Sutherland's characterization of the doctor is really fun to imitate when you're feeling wired and a little paranoid. But when you make a movie about a guy who breaks free from the programming (also called "fate" to those of a  more mystical bent) that has been imprinted on him, and at the end of the movie he makes the beach he's been programmed to love and romances the girl he's been programmed to love, you sort of undercut your whole message.I always thought it would have been a cool movie if Jennifer Connolly fell in love with the cop, and Rufus Sewell went off on some solitary dreamquest reserved for the kind of people who break the mold.  Or something like that.

I liked Dark City, if just for the visuals and film-noir style. I'm sure if I watched it now, 10 years later, I'd have a different opinion. But then, I thought it was a cool film.Had that let-down oh-shit ending, kind of like the first Cube.

I was probably too hard on Dark City. I wasn't feeling that well and it just kind of finished me off.

[this is good] I like Dark City:1.  Rufus Sewell is hot.2.  Queefer Sutherland is exceptionally disgusting.3.  Murdoch and Bumstead do NOT turn out to be the same person.4. I like the idea of injecting memories via needle.5.  I suck anyway.6.  Rufus Sewell is hot.7.  Way hotter than Keanu.

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on February 25, 2008 5:27 PM.

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