I finally watched: A Scanner Darkly

Bill and Ted

I finally watched: A Scanner Darkly

Some people think Keanu Reeves can’t act. He is just very good at playing dazed and confused. Much like Jack Nichelson only plays crazy people.

In A Scanner Darkly, K plays a drugged out undercover agent. This is a great role for him. He is dazed, confused, AND he doesn’t understand why.

My friends warned me that this was a confusing movie. This was a good thing. I was never lost, not understand character motivation, dialog, or the significance of scenes. I was also concentrating hard. If you get up to get a soda during this movie, you probably won’t understand the scene when you get back. Hopefully that scene wasn’t important to understanding the next one or, worse, the ending. It helped that the movie was very pretty. The art style is that the movie was filmed, then each frame looks as if it were re-drawn over, making it an odd style of animation. I picked it up on blu-ray (1080p).

The supporting cast: Robert Downey Jr., Winona Ryder, and Woody Harrelson were also well picked for fellow, drugged-out friends. An unrecognized Rory Cochrane does a good job playing over the edge crazy. The story is by Philip K. Dick, author of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (movie that inspired/based Blade Runner). It has a very hidden cyberpunk feel. It is there, but since the movie is only a few years in the future most of it feels real.

The Hint I can give to help understand the movie that they don’t explicitly reveal until later, but you are meant to know earlier: While wearing the suit, his fellow officers do not know who he is. The entire department is run anonymously. This helps understand his earlier conversations a bit while on the job.

Overall, I recommend seeing this movie. It’s good. An interesting plot, and great visuals. Slow and methodical, making a point, kind of like Jarhead.

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