Sunday 13 August 2006

A Scanner Darkly (2006) - ickleReview (cinema)

Richard Linklater movie using the same interpolated rotoscoping animation technique he developed for Waking Life (2001). Based on a Philip K. Dick novel, the story is set seven years into the future. Substance D is the superdrug that is crippling the American population: 20% are said to be addicted. Keanu Reeves plays Bob Arctor, who works as a narcotics agent for the Orange County police department. He has to spy on his group of drop-out friends, played by Robert Downey Jr., Woody Harrelson, Winona Ryder and Rory Cochrane. To protect his identity, he wears a scramble suit, which conceals his image beneath an ever-flickering montage of over one million appearances. The plot has the confusion and verbiage of a film noir. The look of the film is really what justifies the means. CGI could not have achieved the unnerving opening sequence in which Freck (Cochrane) is infested by imaginary bugs in a Substance D-induced psychotic episode. At times the re-animation is sparse, revealing the real film underneath.

Nugget: I was probably too tired to enjoy this film as much as I could. It's not as mentally stimulating as Waking Life but it is a proper cinematic spectacle.

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