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Dark City

(Dark City)

June 12, 2000

The movie starts with one man called John Murdoch (Rufus Sewell) as he awakes alone in a hotel, in a floor covered by blood. Without any memory, he knows enough to perceive that he is wanted as a prime suspect for a series of brutal and bizarre murders. Inspector Frank Bumstead (William Hurt) is the man leading the pursuit, but there's another person interested in John Murdoch. That is Paul Schreber (Kiefer Sutherland) and he's having his own agenda for Murdoch. As soon as Murdoch leaves the hotel he finds out that everybody falls asleep at exactly midnight, no matter what they are doing, no matter where they are. Everybody ... not true, somehow he manages to stay awake, and also awake are some citizens called "The Strangers". In this city nobody remembers the last time they've seen the sun, the city only seems living at night. So it's up to John to find out what has happened to his memory and solve the mystery behind the city. From that on, the viewer is confronted with a plot that goes from surprise into surprise until the final climax. A great script that will lead the viewer to think what it is that defines a man, his memories or his own will. Dark City is a superb film, the story is absorbing, the sets are wonderful, the SFX top of the class, and yet those special effects are only there to support the script. The "City" itself is a mix between Fritz Lang's Metropolis, Gothic horror and Gorham city with a touch of Chicago in the earlier 50's. One last word for Alex Preys, the man that has directed the film. He was able to capture the dark mood of the city, and make a sci-fi film noir where it's the story and not the SFX that take the lead. A job well done. After 2001 this is my favourite sci-fi film off all times. And that is saying a lot.
Paulo Pereira

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