They built the city to
see what makes us tick. Last night one of us went off.
Dark City is everything a good Sci-Fi movie should be,
and steals a few tricks from other genres too. It presents an
interesting world that is mysterious and disorienting right from the
beginning. The opening credits give us many spirals that are ominous in
nature (helped by the music) and kind of add to the disorienting feel.
Also all the camera shots are short and the editing cuts from one shot
to another with no tracking and this adds to the disorienting effect
too. John Murdoch (the main character) is "born" into the world of Dark
City in the bathtub with no memories of who he is. Then many clues are
thrown at us, and the film turns into a mystery with heavy film noir
overtones. As the movie progresses we find out that everything is not as
it appears and a lot of Sci-Fi elements come to play. The fusion of film
noir and Sci-Fi is not unique with Dark City but this film does it very
The dark look and feel in Dark City is much like the dark tone that we
get in another Alex Proyas film The Crow, but in Dark City the feeling
is more complete with extra symbolism and imagery. Dark City takes all
the interesting imagery of the "city from hell" look from The Crow and
makes it even better. (Don't get the impression that if you liked/hated
The Crow that this will have any impact on Dark City. The look is the
only thing similar to these two films.) I can't say enough about how
good this film looks. It really is a fantastic looking movie.
The actors in Dark City are quite good and at times surprising. I think
this is the first time that I have seen Rufus Sewell and after this
performance I would like to see him again. Any time Jennifer Connelly
graces the screen with her presence it is like manna from heaven. She is
hot. Always. Even Kiefer Sutherland, who some people didn't like, I
thought was great. I thought he came across perfectly as one of those
Naziesque mad scientists that likes to do unnecessary surgery on people.
Then there are the Strangers, and they are a creepy lot and couldn't
have been cast much better, even the kid was cool.
The music by Trevor Jones (The Last of the Mohicans, Richard III, and
Cliffhanger) in Dark City is also excellent. The music adds an ominous
and creepy feeling and as it's needed adds to the sometimes frantic pace
of the film.
If you can't tell at this point, I think Dark City kicks ass. It is one
of those movies that has a very strong repeat value to it. I've seen it
at least 5 times and I'm ready to see it again at anytime.