A Scanner Darkly

2006, Detour Filmproduction et al

Ever since Ridley Scott brought Blade Runner brilliantly to the screen, Phillip K. Dick's science fiction library has been mined regularly for material to adapt. Richard Linklater chose A Scanner Darkly, then engaged four production companies to give it a distinctive look. All of the live action footage was digitally rotoscoped—in several different styles. While some viewers no doubt enjoy the startlingly varied results, others (such as myself) found it challenging to watch. The story was almost suffocated by the turgid, intense visuals—even the talents of A-listers such as Robert Downey Jr. and Keanu Reeves failed to overcome the film's sense of drug-induced delirium. It took a few tries before I could make it all the way through, and not because I didn't get it, or lacked appreciation for creative cinema—quite the opposite; the film simply did nothing for me... other than induce a headache.

 

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