“Dark City” marks the return of “The Crow” director Alex Proyas. The film’s cast includes Rufus Sewell (“Cold Comfort Farm”), Kiefer Sutherland, Jennifer Connelly (“The Hot Spot”), Richard O’Brien (“Rocky Horror”) and William Hurt.
This complex, yet extremely compelling film revolves around John Murdoch (Sewell) after he awakens in a hotel room and realizes that he is wanted for a crime of which he has no memory. In fact, he has virtually no memory of anything at all, including his own identity. Detective Bumstead (Hurt), who is on the tail of the murderer, eventually realizes that there is a much higher force involved and decides to investigate the life of Dr. Schreber (Sutherland). Schreber eventually relays the entire convoluted story of the “Strangers” and how they transfer memories from one human to another with the hopes of learning how we survive. It is later learned that they are all dying off, despite their ability to halt time and alter physical reality through “tuning”.
Like “The Crow”, “Dark City’s” look is similar — dark, murky, damp; but in this film it really seems to propel the story. Hurt and Sewell are both quite believable as their respective characters, while Sutherland’s performance is lacking in more than a few catagories. “Dark City” is not a perfect film, but it does succeed more often than it fails.