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Monday, June 14, 2010

Dark City (1998) - Science Fiction

Dark City (1998) - Watched the Blu-ray directors cut after so long that I did not remember much about the movie. Dark City is a journey of one man, John Murdock (Rufus Sewell) as he tries to regain his memory and discover the secret of the city and himself. This is a complicated flick in which the protagonist has to discover who he is and what he can do. Early in the movie Dr. Daniel P. Schreber (Kiefer Sutherland) seems to assist Murdock in breaking out of the control the men who control the city, the Strangers. As Murdock tries to figure out why people all go to sleep at the same time, why there never seems to be a daytime and why he can not get to Shell Beach, he discovers the secret of the city. Here it is: The city is a spaceship controlled by the Strangers, an alien race who are using humans and created memories to try to discover how humans are able to survive almost anything. They think by understanding humans they can find a way to save their dying race. Using Dr. Schreber they implant memories on there human subject during the Tuning, the time they force everyone to sleep and then study the results. What they don't understand is that what makes humans so successful in the universe is evolution, and Murdock has evolved the ability to tune also. When he discovers it as he is pursued by the strangers it sets up a final battle between Murdock and the head Stranger and finally the less than satisfying ending.
What I liked was the dark and creative world created by writer, director Alex Proyas. Creative and cool a world sort of out of time and very film noir. Also looking at Emma Murdock (Jennifer Connelly) is always a pleasure even though her part was insignificant to the story. The idea of the tuning and was cool with great special effects as they change the city to fit the new human lives they have created was good also. Unfortunately the overall premise ends up being a dead end and the final conclusion of the conflict is really very incomplete. So the head stranger is defeated, not all of them are. They are still trapped on a spaceship and have no real lives, the humans' memories and relationships are false and not their own but they will probably have to play them out. Murdock has the power to make the world whatever he wanted and who knows what he would do in the future but the picture leaves us with a sunrise on the beach. eh. Also Kiefer Sutherland was just strange in his choices for the doctor. I think I had a higher opinion of him the first time I saw it but this time I found it a bit cartoonish.
Overall I would recommend this film the story is solid enough even if the ending is not the greatest.
Rating (6.0)

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