Dark City

Dark City (1998) - Rotten Tomatoes

I hadn’t seen this in quite some time. I was all about it when I was younger when it was first coming out. I actually connect this with The Crow: City of Angels in my mind. I’m not completely sure why because there was two year difference in their release years, Dark City being released two years later. It was directed by Alex Proyas, which is a connection to a different Crow movie. It was written by Alex Proyas, Lem Dobbs, and David S Goyer. Goyer is a connection to The Crow: City of Angels connection that I wasn’t aware of when I was younger.

The plot centers on amnesiac man named John Murdoch, played by Rufus Sewell, as he goes around a city in perpetual night. He’s hunted by sickly, pale beings. The cast is packed with Kiefer Sutherland, Jennifer Connelly, William Hurt, Richard O’Brien, Ian Richardson, and Bruce Spence. This was the first time I saw a few actors like Bruce Spence and Richard O’Brien. I hadn’t seen The Road Warrior or Rocky Horror Picture Show when I first saw the movie. I also recognized David Wenham upon rewatching it.

The production and set design in this movie works overtime. Everything in this movie just oozes style, which is needed for something that is as stylized as Dark City. It also has a timeless quality to it with the technology looking like it was straight out of the 50s if not earlier. The FX in the movie are actually pretty good for when they were produced. When it comes to a movie made in the late 90s the computer FX that are done are spotty at best for the most part. They are used subtly and still hold up over twenty years.

The copy that I watched was the director’s cut, which isn’t the version that I had seen previously. I’m not actually sure what the differences are. I’ve looked around online but the only thing that I’ve been able to find is that it was extended by 15 minutes. Aside from that I wasn’t able to find anything specific. If I had to guess it would be the final battle where the SFX look the spottiest.

I wasn’t aware that this was an issue until a friend had mentioned it 15 years ago but there were, and probably still are, people that said The Matrix stole some ideas from it. I didn’t really see that because they released close together and I don’t think there was anything like that going on. It was just something that was going on that made philosophical tinged movies at the turn of the millennium.

I honestly think that Dark City still holds up over 20 years later. I’m actually surprised that more people don’t talk about it. It could be it never really found an audience bigger than just a few people or there could be something else. It isn’t available to stream anywhere but as per usual you can buy it physically or through your preferred digital storefront.

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