The movie, Dark City is definitely not your average two hours of entertainment. It begins with a man waking up in his bathtub with amnesia. He walks around the city at night since it is always night and nothing else and always witnesses at midnight that everything stops except himself. Through investigation he learns that his name is John Murdock and is wanted for the murder of several prostitutes. After meeting his wife, he goes to his psychiatrist. From him, John learns of aliens under the city having the power of cuneing.
They use this power with a machine to change the city and stop time. While time is stopped, the aliens conduct 'memory changing' experiments to try to keep themselves from going extinct. John finds that he possesses this cuneing power and because his psychiatrist has been working for the aliens, he decides to help John. After a few chases there is a showdown with John and the head alien. John's cuneing power is stronger, so all of the aliens, their machine, as well as the city's original memories are destroyed. In the showdown, it is revealed that the city is actually a spaceship like disc of a city.
John, feeling the need to relive his 'memories', creates daytime and a place on the edge of the city called Shell Beach. This movie is a lot better than others are for a reason. First, the lighting effects really set the mood. In the beginning a lamp hanging from a wire was swinging and created periodic shadows. Through the rest of the movie, it was night and the lighting and buildings were similar to a Batman movie. Second, having no knowledge of what was going on for quite some time into the movie, I felt a lot like John.
Since he had amnesia the viewer knew as much as John. This was a neat feeling. Next, the plot of aliens changing the city and swapping and mixing persons' memories around was very original, unlike 'chase' movies. Also, character interaction was interesting, since they didn't even know that their memories weren't real.
Finally the ending did disappoint me a bit. Being stranded on an alien ship, would they ever get back to earth? How were they getting food? How could they operate under no national government control? These questions bothered me quite a bit. Overall, the fresh new approach and intriguing setting made the movie worth watching. I give Dark City a thumb up..