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Customer Review

193 of 223 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Dark Sci-Fi Question-Reality Film, March 18, 2003
This review is from: Dark City (DVD)
The trailers for Dark City suggested a film so complex and impeneterable to leave the viewer rather confused at its conclusion, yet in execution the film makes far more sense than the intriguing montage in the trailer.
Set in a dark world--literally dark, as no one seems to remember being out during the day--the film focuses on John Murdoch (Rufus Sewell), a man who awakens amnesiac to find a murdered woman nearby. Soon thereafter pursued by the police (led by William Hurt), he must solve the mystery of his missing memories and eerie pursuers.
Helped along the way by a woman claiming to be his wife (Jennifer Connelley) and a pendactic psychiatrist (Kiefer Sutherland), Murdoch learns that his pursuers are a race of aliens with the power to warp reality with their minds who continually change the city and the memories and even lives of the people inhabiting it in an experiment designed to save their lives. Murdoch has developed their same power to "tune" and save humanity from the aliens' machinations.
The film's theme of questionable reality--carried across on two levels as both human memories are manipulated and the physical world itself changed on a nightly basis--is done fairly well if somewhat less successfully than the in the Matrix.
Replete with dark imagery suiting the film noir genre and quite at home in Blade Runner, the movie makes for a stunning visual performance. The aliens are masterfully done as frightening and eerie outsiders. My only complaint is that I was able to grasp the film's actions and meanings on a first viewing with little difficulty; I had expected to come out with the sense of, "What the heck?!" that would require two or three viewings to fully digest the film's depth. Yet that aside, the film is still a definite watch for any fans of film noir or reality-questioning sci-fi.
The DVD includes a number of special features to sweeten the deal, including two commentary tracks, the theatrical trailer (whose music unfortunately didn't make it into the film), an isolated score track, and more. The video and audio transfers are crisp and clean.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 8, 2008 11:49:50 AM PDT
Pacific808 says:
That was a very good review. You summed it up nicely. This is a very interesting and entertaining film - not boring in the least. It's good to see Keifer in a film again - not as a razzed-up Jack Bauer. The visuals are pretty fascinating and the "tuning" portions of the film are very cool. Thanks for your review.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 22, 2008 7:54:02 AM PDT
JackoLantern says:
I agree with Pacific808. This is a very good review. But I think it and several of the others missed a key underlying subtext or theme. This movie was perhaps about the creation of human souls and concurrent memory management (which prevents true immortality if one believes in reincarnation). there was a constant "Heaven" like aspect about Earth and Shell Beach. Thus the wierd name assignments such as Mr. Hand; Mr. Book; Mr. Sleep and etc. Maybe one premise of creation is: It is a dark place and not as light as one presumes.

Posted on Dec 8, 2008 7:45:27 AM PST
Vlad Z. says:
youre a d-bag for not saying your writing contains spoilers. seriously, go to hell.

Posted on Feb 13, 2010 12:54:41 AM PST
C. Regan says:
Good review, but you need to give a heads up when you start giving out spoilers. Thankfully I have already seen this movie, but had I not, I would be as angry as the other commenter on here. If you have any respect for this movie and its potential viewers, you need to edit your review and add *WARNING: SPOILERS* at the top.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 9, 2011 5:09:23 AM PDT
Pepper says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 8, 2013 7:41:36 PM PDT
Blue Leaf says:
Since your response was made four and a half years ago this is probably in vain by don't stoop so low as to add name calling. You have a legitimate point but it lose its efficacy when combined with character attacks.

Posted on Sep 6, 2013 12:02:49 PM PDT
I had never even heard of this film before summer 2013 and what a great surprise when I saved it and when back to watch it. The movie alone with it's 'Hell-raiser'-type character's , film-noir sets and doomed city life was amazing and just about believable, to an extent for a future for something... Beyond today's life. The score was also very well done. When I asked around I was surprised that so many other people as well as myself were not familiar with it. How could we miss it? Well now I know and have become a fan of this film and will look out for more films in this genre.
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Location: Fairfax, VA United States

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