Dark City

March 27, 2010

Dark City

Dark City

This film is an entertaining sci-fi romp that is beautifully shot.  It comes to life with a fascinating world that is created and keeps you interested throughout as it throws interesting twists that don’t detract from the story.

The story is of a world, that seems to be fairly normal, except that it is always dark.  No one realizes it though.  The only two who know what are going on are Dr. Daniel P. Schreber, played by Kiefer Sutherland, and John Murdoch, played by Rufus Sewell.  Murdoch only has part of the story though in this film that is a retelling of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave.  I feel like I shouldn’t go any further into the plot as it revolves around the great twists, which aren’t twists if you know the Allegory of the Cave.  It is definitely a good sci-fi film in that it isn’t just an action romp, like film like Knowing, but has that extra meaning.  Alex Proyas, the screenwriter and director, does a great job getting this story across the screen.

The first thing that you notice about this film are the visuals.  They are very well done and entertaining to watch.  It is a blend of many eras of time.  It mimics what you’d expect from the 40’s and 50’s, it goes all the way back to the Greek culture that the story is taken from, and it mixes in many futuristic aspects as well.  This blending works perfectly to create the world for this film and the lighting is simply stunning even though it is always very dark.  It works wonderfully since this is a story about that which is hidden from view.

The acting in this film is solid as well.  I am not that big a fan of Kiefer Sutherland (besides The Lost Boys) but this is a very solid acting performance by him.  Dr. Daniel P. Schreber is a very eccentric character and he plays it to a tee.  Rufus Sewell is very solid in his role as well.  He gives an emotional enough performance for the film as he goes on the same journey of discovery as the viewer.  There are times during the film that he even knows less then the viewer, and he does that very well.  William Hurt gives a solid performance, but not all that memorable, and Jennifer Connelly is beautiful in this film and gives a solid acting performance.  This helps the film out a lot.

This is a film that isn’t as well known as it should be.  Roger Ebert called it the best film of 1998.  It actually might be.  It is a smart sci-fi film that tells a great story and has solid acting performances.  The visual aspect is simply stunning and combined it makes a very good film.

Entertainment Grade: B+

Critical Grade: A-

Overall Grade: B+


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