God, the world really has gone to whack!
Ex-cop Lenny Nero (Ralph Fiennes) is a pusher of potent — and illegal — virtual-reality clips, peddling sex, murder and violence to the masses in quasi-futuristic Los Angeles. But when a high-profile murder shows up in his collection, Lenny is snared in a fast-paced manhunt. With the help of his friend Mace Mason (Angela Bassett), he stays ahead of danger and tries to protect an old flame (Juliette Lewis).
From its first moments, the film creates a mood of anxiety and foreboding. With the new millenium just days away, the disenfranchised masses are ready to erupt in violence, and everyone knows that something BIG is about to happen. With a set-up like that, most films would end up with a disappointing conclusion. “Stange Days,” however, delivers an exhilarating, cathartic climax.
This film has a lot of ideas they want to put out there. Its all about the feelings of other people’s experiences, and taking them in your own life and living them. This idea is shown very well throughout the whole film in these little videos Fiennes keeps getting.
Director Kathryn Bigelow does pull out all the stops in this film on so many levels. On a visual level the film is fascinating, as it shows this world just doomed that is filled with havoc and crime all over the place. And, she does a great job of actually keeping this story interesting and involving. Yeah, it’s a little different from what we have seen before but it still feels like a regular action thriller set in this dystopian cyberpunk world.
There were some problems I did have with this film though. First of all a lot of things didn’t make so much sense to me. Like why was Fiennes, who was the ex-cop, basically go the whole movie getting his ass kicked, when Bassett, a limo driver, is beating more people up. Also, I liked the setting I just didn’t understand why everything was all of a sudden havoc, why were crimes always being committed, and just why was the world going to come to an end?
The writing also seemed a bit too cliche and obvious. It could have been stronger when it came to characterizing its characters as different people but instead goes on this road we have seen many a times with these films.
Fiennes does a very good job in the lead role mostly cause he isn’t playing the typical super hero. He is a solicitor, a snuff man, and a bad person, but thinks his way through every situation and is smart when it comes to what to do next. Bassett gives a very good performance as well, and the two build up a genuine chemistry that seems real and barely ever fake. Lewis is basically playing the same character as usual, and throughout the whole film never changes.
Consensus: Strange Days has its flaws, but also has wonderful ideas that are backed by a powerful direction from Bigelow, and features a thrilling story with good enough performances to keep you satisfied.