Dark City Reviews
#Content: Script 3 | Acting 3 | Cinematography 4 | Film Editing 3
#Visual: Costume Design 3 | Makeup & Hairstyling 3 | Scenic Design 4 | Lighting 4 | Visual Effects 4
#Sound: Score & Soundtracks 4 | Sound Editing & Mixing 3
#Overall (1~10): 6
Knowing close to nothing going in was a wise choice, but I did find myself saying "what in the world is going on?" several times. The story follows a man named John Murdoch who finds himself alone in a bathtub with no memory of who he is or where he's been. Murdoch is being hunted by both law enforcement and a mysterious group of people, known as 'The Strangers' with unknown powers and abilities. In some ways, Dark City makes for a good compilation of films like The Matrix, Minority Report, Blade Runner, and even Metropolis. For much of the film Murdoch is the audience. We have no idea where we are, who's good, who's bad, and where this all ends up. But once Murdoch starts to understand 'The Strangers' agendas, the film starts to take off.
The supporting cast includes William Hurt, Jennifer Connelly, and Kiefer Sutherland. Similar to how I feel about the movie overall, I didn't really care for any of the characters in particular until you understand the context of how the film is being played out. Sutherland has the most to do, but his performance is diluted to a quick breathing nerdy doctor.
I think as a whole Dark City will play better on repeated viewings. Especially because it will become more and more apparent just how many films have taken from Dark City. Proyas has made a few interesting directing choices since this one, but none quite capture the scope or uniqueness of Dark City. In the long-running genre of science fiction, Proyas' breakout film is definitely among the better ones.
+Mystery plays out nicely
+Gets better as it goes along
-Could have opened up with more context