The plot is weak, and the self- conscious script tries too hard to be knowing and sexually suggestive. Judging from the dialogue alone, "Dark City" is a clumsy melodrama. But the film's twisting of reality and its daring look—layered and off-kilter grays, greens and blacks—make it click. The big-hatted Strangers, for example, simply dematerialize as they walk through brick walls. The viewer knows it's just a special effect, but Proyas weights these now-you-see-'em, now-you-don't figures with unpredictability. They're superhuman and cruelly detached from the film's stupefied human characters. - Dark City (1998 film)

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