What the hell is wrong with a moderately well-lit city? Is there something objectionable about being able to see during a film? Apparently, director Alex ("The Crow") Proyas thinks there is. This would be all well and good if the rest of "Dark City" had something that was aurally pleasing. Unfortunately, the music is a dud and the story is but a regurgitation of stale science fiction ideas that writers have been discarding for years. If you're going to steal ideas from science fiction, at least take from something a little more sophisticated than "Star Trek."
The antagonists in this film are the Strangers, a group of beings who, we learn, have a collective consciousness (much like the Borg). They've created a world where there is no day in order to study the human soul, uncover its secret and prevent their own race from dying. To that end, they manipulate the memories of the inhabitants of Dark City, hoping to discover what makes humans tick.
Much to the Strangers' dismay, John Murdoch (Rufus Sewell) gains their prized power, which allows him to change matter, or "tune," by simply thinking about it. This leads to a predictable showdown between John and the Strangers where special effects emanate from everybody's heads because the filmmakers assume the audience isn't intelligent enough to connect the concept of "thinking" with the concept of "brain" (which, we learn, is located in the "head"). Apparently, this is a revelation to the director, but for the rest of us, "Dark City" is merely an excuse to drift off to sleep.
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