|Cast: Keanu Reeves,
Director(s): Richard Linklater
Genre: Science Fiction
From the same guys who did 'Waking Life', with the same cool animation. This film, storywise, will be more accessible to the average person than Waking Life was, that is, there is an actual story here. Robert Downey Jr. stands out, but again, the characters in general are overshadowed by the animation, specifically the characters wearing a 'scramble suit' - a special suit used by covert operations honchos making the wearer appear like his/her facade is consistently morphing, adapting the various face and body parts from over 1.5 million random people. Hard to explain, you have to watch it to see what I mean. I can't even post a pic of someone in the scramble suit because the suit itself is in constant shape-shifting mode - a still pic won't show what I mean. And BTW this is essentially a drug movie - the characters are paranoid and tripping, and it was written by Philip K. 'Blade Runner' Dick, so that should give you an indication of what you're in for. It doesn't seem as groundbreaking as Waking Life, just because Waking Life came first and its animation was a little more 'floaty', but this is still top-notch animative ingenuity.
The story does have some neat twists at the end, but like Waking Life, this is definitely not for everyone.
This was a particulary trippy scene....
I'm not sure what I think about it. I found the drug story and introspection very interesting. The idea about the morph-suit was rather cool and added an interesting angle to the story.
I was a tad confused by the story, however. It would have made a bit more sense if we got to see how the protagonist got recruited by the police.
Overall is was pretty good, but I found some scenes just dragged on and on without any plot advancement or real reason to be. For example, the stupid bike argument. What was that about? Is it to give us an example of what drugs do the mind or was there another point to that scene?
The animation was pretty cool to watch. It tried to be accurate and real world, but at the same time encouraged some artistic freedom. Neat. I read an article in Wired that explained how much work was done on every frame to give this effect.
In the end I was disappointed. There is no real resolution to the story. The acting was not the best either. Downey was playing his usual self, which I found a bit distracting. Reeves did a pretty good job overall.
It gets a bit better than a meh.
Derek, if you really liked the animation, I suggest you check out 'Waking Life'. You might be more into that 'story' - it's all philosophical discussions in vignette form, like an animated 'My Dinner With Andre'. Plus, the DVD has some neat extra features showing how the animation is done. Pretty cool stuff.
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