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So what do the two movies have in common? They both take place in the fifties, and they have that certain cliche quality of fifties-type movies. Except of course that Dark City is exceedingly better and more tastefully done.
The plot is rather difficult to explain. A group of bald, ghastly white men have come from another planet to find out how they can become human, because their race is dying out. They create a sort of virtual reality city - it's real but it's not real - and they kidnap earthlings for its citizens. Then, they switch around the identities of all the people they've kidnapped, so everyone has at least partial amnesia, and they all wind up thinking they're someone they're not. Still with me?
One of the kidnapped citizens, John Murdock (Rufus Sewell), wakes up while having his memory changed by a mad scientist whose talents the aliens have employed for their own evil purposes. According to his new memory, he was seeing the mad doctor - a psychiatrist - because he was terribly upset over his wife's (Jennifer Connelly) infidelity. Now, he has been accused of murdering several prostitutes - that's where the cops come in, another thing that reminded me of LA Confidential - and she is the only one who believes he is innocent. Meanwhile, the aliens are still working their evil magic.
I loved the original premise of this movie, and the fact that for a science fiction movie, it was very realistically done. The scenery and special effects (especially the enlarging buildings!) were as impressive as the actors and the plot.