A Scanner Darkly (Review)

A scanner darklyCalifornia. Near future. Addiction is rife. Addiction to ‘Substance D’.

An undercover cop embroils himself in the junkie lifestyle, seeking to work his way to middle tier dealers. So undercover is he that even his superiors don’t even know who he really is. They watch on with CCTV wondering which is the criminal and which the ally.

With long periods of anonymity and playing a role comes mistrust and paranoia, exacerbated by drug use and listening to junkies babble on for long periods. Eventually even the most driven of cops must wonder which side of the law he is on, and what exactly he is trying to achieve.

A Scanner Darkly is stylish and creative. I guess. First filmed in live action with real actors, then subsequently animated over to create a dreamy hallucinogenic feel. Keanu Reeves, Robert Downey Jr, Woody Harrelson and Winona Ryder form the most likely foursome of drug dependants that I can envisage on or offscreen. Their dialogue and delivery sounds authentic to these inexperienced ears, by which I mean momentarily amusing but mostly dull and directionless. I grew increasingly unaware of just what the fuck the aim of this all was and who the good and / or bad guys were.

Ultimately I gave up the fight. Like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and other films dealing with addiction and altered mind states, as someone unfamiliar with that life I don’t get it. Maybe that suggests I should stay away from such films, but I don’t understand space travel but I get Gravity.

Maybe it just kinda sucks…

Final Rating – 5 / 10. Drugs – and many films about drugs – are bad… Mkay?

About OGR

While I try to throw a joke or two into proceedings when I can all of the opinions presented in my reviews are genuine. I don't expect that all will agree with my thoughts at all times nor would it be any fun if you did, so don't be shy in telling me where you think I went wrong... and hopefully if you think I got it right for once. Don't be shy, half the fun is in the conversation after the movie.
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