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A Scanner Darkly

Weird one this - is it a film that's just computer animated, or have they just computer treated conventional film? Who knows. I'd make a guess on the latter.

Anyway, it's a film set a few years in the future in the USA, where the war on terror appears to have merged with the war on everything else, drugs included. The drug of choice is "Substance D", which is made from a little blue flower - and this is where our story steps in, revolving around a household of three guys who share a common addiction to "D". The war on drugs means that Americans have pretty much given up their rights and are under surveillance, the household included, although the interesting thing is that one of the guys in the household happens to be an under-cover drugs investigator, who bizarrely enough has to monitor his own house.

The housemates fall into the right cranky stereotypes - there's the philosopher who feels he knows everything about everything and there's the blond space-case who knows close to nothing, but despite being a film about addiction still has a good dose of humour.

The film covers police corruption, sex, drugs, politics and conspiracy theories. They're all there in good helpings.

Is it a good film? Hmmm, well, it's not bad. It's not the best thing you'll see, but it's certainly the best of what's around at the moment. And for once Keanu Reeves doesn't seem to be acting in too wooden a style, which makes for a change. His acting in the Matrix Sequels was awful. Anyway, check it out - if for nothing else, check it out for the presentation and the fact that it's actually got a plot, which in recent films has been somewhat missing. It's presentation will no doubt ensure cult status.

IMDB Link (*clicky*)
FilmFour Review (*clicky*)
Official Site (*clicky*)

Footnote: I was right(ish) - a technique called interpolated rotoscoping is used to make the film look like it does.
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