Friday, February 16, 2007

MOVIE REVIEW>> 2-16-07

By Staff Sgt. Mitchell Lombard
Special to The Drop Zone
Rated R for drugs, sexual content, and language

How much do you really know about the people around you? Is questioning their every intention an act of misplaced paranoia, or is it mere vigilance? “A Scanner Darkly” is going to let you decide.

Originally a novel by Phillip Dick (“Total Recall,” “Blade Runner,” “Minority Report”), “A Scanner Darkly” takes us inside the world of Bob Arctor. Working undercover in the near future as a junkie hooked on the new drug “Substance D,” Bob begins to wonder who his friends really are, and where his life is taking him.

Not knowing who to trust or who he is supposed to be, Bob marches on toward his fate, even if he doesn’t know it yet. Keanu Reeves performs slightly better than what we are used to in his role as the troubled detective. Conversely, Winona Ryder never seemed to genuinely settle into her character opposite Reeves. The most astounding work comes from Robert Downey Jr. who is spot on as a paranoid and ever-present druggie. We also get some good laughs out of Woody Harrelson in a solid supporting role.

The entire movie was filmed and then layered with Interpolative Rotoscoping. I have no idea what this is, but I liked the name of the process, so I thought I would pass it on. What I can tell you is that it gives a very interesting, half-animated presence to the movie. You can recognize the faces, but is has the feel of some type of media stuck halfway between a live-action film and the pages of a well-drawn comic book.

The plot itself is a twisting and turning ride that doesn’t ever jump out at you quickly. You could compare it to being on a roller coaster that never goes faster than 10 mph. This works for some, but not for others. Hopefully you know which category you fall into.

In either case, you can’t go wrong by watching it for the revolutionary visual effect itself, for it is a fascinating experience. That being said, I also predict it could quickly become overused in future films and die off as quickly as it appeared. In other words, get it while the getting is good (and still original).

Those looking for cheap thrills and explosions should look elsewhere. “A Scanner Darkly” doesn’t deliver anything that would raise your heart rate (aside from Winona Ryder, of course). But if you want intelligent dialogue partnered with a thought provoking storyline that keeps you in limbo until the very end and, this might just be the film for you this weekend.
Now available at your base Shoppette.


Post a Comment