Dark City (1998) Movie Review

image001By: Michael Davies (Two Beers) –

This gem of a film was delivered to us in 1998 and much like The Matrix (given to us the following year) it follows the Sci-fi approach that the world is not what we think it is. The story is headed up with a brilliant cast which centers on Mr John Murdoch (if you can’t remember his name, you will by the end.) After awakening from the brainwashing of a lifetime, which is exactly what it is, he falls deeper and deeper into the whirlpool of a false reality and ………. you best watch it to find out.


The 1998 fancy dress-staring contest.  Everybody managed to dress the same, must have been the fashion.

A Toast

The cast do not let you down, being believable in their roles.  Keifer Sutherland plays a brilliant supporting role whilst “the” Mr Murdoch is played brilliantly by Rufus Sewell.  Richard O’Brien also graces us with his presence, whose freakish bald headedness and awkward acting was typecast especially by director Alex Proyas to always be the look of the “strangers”, with the idea sprouting from Richard O’Brien’s persona within The Rocky Horror Show.

This film is pretty damn dark and you will want to have a big TV, late night, popcorn, and surround sound to really appreciate this film. Make sure that the woman you have worked your best chat up line on is sitting beside you and/or that dude you want to hold on to (if a lady.)  This is a rollercoaster of a story and the scenery and filmmaking is incredible.  It’ll be right up your alley if you liked The Matrix.


This was before they started filming. Keifer Sutherland’s interrogation as to who ate his Jelly Beans.

Although this film shouts “EPICNESS” and should be held as a classic by my biased opinion on epicness, it is only let down by the ever-turning hand of time, of which, when watching now in 2014, shows the signs of needing some TLC in the special effects and the shouting of an expansion to the DarkCity story. You’ll note some dated-looking explosions and a blowing up of a wall which looks like the always-evident polystyrene brick.



If you can accept this film to be a matured wine in the special effects department, the storyline and acting make up for every ounce of dated effect, and the wealth of mood, setting, and the freshness of having a film which doesn’t regurgitate the same story which has been play doh’d together by some enthusiastic get rich quick studio makes this film a gem. Hats off and celebratory drinks for time well spent.


Drinking Game

Take a Drink: when you first see Richard O’Brien (Crystal Maze, Rocky Horror Picture Show; if you don’t recognise him, you shouldn’t be allowed to drink) and every time you see him after that.

If a drinking game is what you are after, this is one which will leave you sinking in your sofa slurring “He can tune” at the top of your lungs.

Take a Drink: every time “Mr Murdoch” is said.

Do a Shot: as if you could read my mind, (pun intended) every time a phrase with “He can tune” is said.

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