U.S./Australia, 1998, 100 min, 35mm, Dir. Alex Proyas, Rated R, Warner Bros.
“No movie can ever have too much atmosphere, and Dark City exudes it from every frame of celluloid…it has as stunning a visual texture as that of any movie that I’ve seen.” – James Berardinelli, ReelViews
John Murdoch (Rufus Sewell) wakes up in a world where night never ends. Suffering from amnesia, he’s sought after by a mysterious group of men dubbed the ‘Strangers’ who suspect him of murder. Seeking to clear his name, Murdoch is aided by Inspector Frank Bumstead (William Hurt) and discovers he has psychokinesis and can alter reality – powers only the Strangers possess. Alex Proyas’ follow-up to The Crow is a mind-bending mélange of noir, sci-fi, and visionary imagination that deals with the weighty themes of memory and the nature of reality. Though often compared to The Matrix (both films utilized some of the same sets in Australia), Dark City predates the Wachowski’s cyberpunk hit and draws a direct lineage to Fritz Lang’s 1927 opus, Metropolis. As Roger Ebert noted in his review, “Both films are about false worlds created to fabricate ideal societies…both are parables in which a dangerous weapon attacks the order of things … but Dark City contains a threat more terrible than any of the horrors in Metropolis.”
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