Strange Days

"Good"

Strange Days Review


I've never really given much thought to what the turn of the millennium is going to bring. Will it be a new beginning for society and the world? Or will it bring on the apocalypse foretold by Revelations?

Strange Days continuously plays these two possibilities off of each other, and in L.A., on December 31, 1999, it seems either one is equally likely. Ralph Fiennes plays Lenny Nero, a bottom-feeder ex-cop who peddles "clips," full-sensory pieces of memory from real people's lives. These clips are played on "the wire," a device which delivers experiences directly into the brain. The very illegal wire is also the source of a whole slew of problems, including the murder of one Jeriko One, a very influential rap star, and the subsequent stalking of Faith (Juliette Lewis), Nero's ex-girlfriend, for whom he still pines.

As it turns out, this Jeriko has been heralded as the next Messiah, and the circumstances of his murder stand to cause riots of unprecedented horror. When a clip containing the identity of Jeriko's killers falls into Nero's hands, it's anybody's guess who he can trust.

The greatest part of Strange Days is easily the first-person photography that is used whenever a clip is played--so the audience gets to see everything as if they're part of the action. This is remarkably effective, and as it gets more and more gruesome later in the film, the technology's dangers are almost palpable.

Fiennes is terrific, as is Angela Bassett, who plays his best friend, Mace. Nero's insecurity is truly refreshing in this day and age of indestructible action heroes, and although his frequent confessions to Mace wear thin after two or three of them, he still does plenty with the role to make the character real: he is selling bits of people's lives but doesn't have one of his own.

Sadly, Strange Days is no bed of roses. Example: here's what I learned about the future. In 1999, playing really, really bad rap music is almost enough to earn you sainthood. In 1999, no one wears much in the way of clothes, especially female rock singers. In 1999, the music pretty much sucks, too. And everyone gets beat up. A lot. And no one seems to mind.

While the film is intriguing all the way through, it never really gels together. Director Kathryn Bigelow does some admirable work, but the result is a Blade Runner meets Clockwork Orange meets Rodney King, and some strange hybrid results that makes Strange Days feel like two movies playing at once. It's a troubling problem that is fortunately balanced by the style of the feature, but the end result is an interesting little film that's just, well, "strange."



Strange Days

Facts and Figures

Run time: 145 mins

In Theaters: Friday 13th October 1995

Budget: $42M

Distributed by: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

Production compaines: Lightstorm Entertainment, 20th Century Fox

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 63%
Fresh: 26 Rotten: 15

IMDB: 7.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Lenny Nero, as Lornette 'Mace' Mason, as Max Peltier, as Faith Justin, as Burton Steckler, as Dwayne Engelman, as Philo Gant, as Jeriko One, as Iris, as Anchor Woman, as Palmer Strickland, Joe Urla as Keith, as Wade Beemer, as Anchor Woman

Contactmusic


Links


Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.