Dark City

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Dark City ★★ Dark Empire; Dark World 1997 (R)

Brooding city of gloom floats in a sunless world, with skylines nightmarishly changing as its residents sleep. The city seems to belong to no era, looking at times like a neo-goth music video and at others like a work of German expressionism. Sometimes it just looks like '60s Cleveland. Director Proyas seems to have wanted to make a futuristic film noir like “Blade Runner,” but gets lost somewhere along the way. He does however, keep the style. Disfigured Dr. Schreber (Sutherland) is forced by a dying race of pasty-faced long-coated aliens to use humans as guinea pigs in an attempt to find out what makes them tick. John Murdoch (Se-well) wakes up in a hotel room with a dead body and no memory of his life. Searching for his past, he wanders through one incredible set after another, but is it real or is it hypodermically injected? Hurt is a detective who only wants to stop the grisly murders. Garbled story rewards persistence at the end. 103m/C VHS, DVD . Kiefer Sutherland, William Hurt, Rufus Sewell, Richard O'Brien, Jennifer Connelly, Ian Richardson, Colin Friels, Frank Gallacher, Bruce Spence, John Blu-thal, Mitchell Butel, Melissa George; D: Alex Pro-yas; W: Alex Proyas, Lem Dobbs, David S. Goyer; C: Darius Wolski; M: Trevor Jones.