Thursday, February 08, 2007

A Scanner Darkly (2006)

Richard Linklater has long been fond of narcotic languor and druggy rambling (think Slacker, think Dazed and Confused, think Waking Life); with this trippy adaptation of a Philip K. Dick novel, he explores the dark side of said fascinations. The logorrheic insouciance that has been Linklater's stock in trade is in full flower, but there's ominous undertones to it all -- these are not people you'd want to become like. The visuals by the increasingly invaluable Bob Sabiston are unassailable (the creature from Freck's hallucination is a wow), and the cast is solid. On the latter: I expected such wired awesomeness from Woody Harrelson and Robert Downey Jr. (once again proving himself the master of the eccentric pause), but even Keanu and Winona Ryder, two actors of whom I'm generally less than fond, are worthy of mention. Despite a weak wrap-up, this manages the rare feat of being a cautionary tale minus the hectoring.

Grade: B+


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