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Dark City
Reviewed by Oct 24th, 2003

This is a rather moody and noir-ish sci-fi/horror crossbreed, and I think it worked rather well. As explained in the [unneccesary] opening monologue, aliens have kidnapped a city of humans and placed them here (wherever that is) to experiment with. They steal their memories, remix them, and give them back. They change the buildings around every night. But now and again, one wakes up.

One of these specimens was John Murdock. When he returns home (that is, when he locates the building for which he has housekeys), his wife things he is angry at her for having an affair. He also happens to be wanted for the murders of several prostitutes. John remembers no affair, and postulates that perhaps the affair never really happened, and they had never met before.

Soon they both begin to encounter a race of aliens that wear trenchcoats or Pin-head like leather ensembles, and John realizes that he has psychic powers.

I think the sheer visual fabulousness of this movie makes up for any of its shortcomings. There are some slow parts, but overall it’s a fairly well crafted film. It’s fairly well-cast. William Hurt makes a good stereotypical investigator, and Richard O’Brien (Mr. Hand) makes a great alien. Even Kiefer Sutherland is tolerable as the doctor. The effects are good, particularly when the cities start changing. The juxtapostition of architecture and objects from different eras adds a surreal quality. Worth seeing.

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