If you're a fan of brooding comic-book antiheroes, got a nihilistic jolt from The Crow
(1994), and share director Alex Proyas's highly developed preoccupation for style over substance, you might be tempted to call Dark City
an instant classic of visual imagination. It's one of those films that exists in a world purely of its own making, setting its own rules and playing by them fairly, so that even its derivative elements (and there are quite a few) acquire their own specific uniqueness. Before long, however, the film becomes interesting only as a triumph of production design. And while that's certainly enough to grab your attention (Blade Runner
is considered a classic, after all), it's painfully clear that Dark City
has precious little heart and soul. One-dimensional characters are no match for the film's abundance of retro-futuristic style, so it's best to admire the latter on its own splendidly cinematic terms. Trivia buffs will be interested to know that the film's 50-plus sets (partially inspired by German expressionism) were built at the Fox Film Studios in Sydney, Australia, home base of director Alex Proyas and producer Andrew Mason. The underground world depicted in the film required the largest indoor set ever built in Australia. --Jeff Shannon
The critically-acclaimed triumph from visionary director Alex Proyas (I, Robot, The Crow) is back with a brand new directors cut featuring enhanced picture and sound, never-before-seen footage and three commentary tracks that take you deeper than ever before into the world of one of sci-fis most exciting and revered tales. When John Murdoch (Rufus Sewell) wakes with no memory at the scene of a grisly murder, he soon finds himself hunted by the police, a woman claiming to be his wife and a mysterious group of pale men who seem to control everything and everyone in the city. Starring Rufus Sewell (The Illusionist), Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind), William Hurt (A History of Violence) and Kiefer Sutherland (TVs 24).