I love Science Fiction movies and I love Film Noir movies. It’s very rare to find one movie that works nicely in both genres at the same time. Blade Runner comes to mind, but a movie came out in 1998 that I like even better than that one. It was called Dark City and was written and directed by Alex Proyas. It is an INCREDIBLE movie, if you have never seen it. Strangely enough, this film has a similarity with Blade Runner in that the studio decided last minute to add an unnecessary voice-over in the film to explain key plot points and it really is much better without it. Again, as with Blade Runner they released a Director’s Cut of the film many years later with this taken out and both films seem to benefit greatly after omitting it.
The two main characters are played by two of my favorite actors; Rufus Sewell and Jennifer Connelly. They both do a fantastic job in the movie. A Detective in the film is played very well by William Hurt, which is interesting as both he and Connelly share a link as they both were main characters in different Hulk movies. The Doctor is played by Kiefer Sutherland and I usually like him, but in this his breathing and speech patterns get a little annoying at times. Richard O’Brien, from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, plays bad guy Mr. Hand and is awesome all the way around. Alex Proyas wrote Mr. Hand specifically for Richard.
Several films after this was released borrowed some of their inspiration from Dark City. The Matrix series and Christopher Nolan’s Inception being the ones that instantly come to mind, as they are all based on the principles that the world around you may not be real. The Matrix purchased many of the sets used in Dark City, especially the rooftops, so there are some shared visuals there as well.