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Another Scanner Darkly Review

Published May 25, 2006 in Early Reviews
By Ryan Parsons | Image property of Warner Independent
A Scanner Darkly A Scanner Darkly
Another review has popped up for A Scanner Darkly and, though it is not exactly positive, it does mention that the film could become cult status.

Scanner Darkly Review


Anybody who has read Phillip K. Dick's book A Scanner Darkly already know how hard the story must have been to adapt. Placing the viewer in a drug-fueled paranoia is always an uncomfortable move and, with the less then hopeful ending in the tale, some moviegoers are bound to leave the film feeling a bit, ehh, unsatisfied.

Fortunately all the reports do claim that Linklater's animation is extremely faithful to the book, so if you dug the book you should dig the movie.


"What does a scanner see?" a character muses toward the end of "A Scanner Darkly." Whatever the answer is, audiences may find there's less than meets the eye in Richard Linklater's deeply intriguing but almost too-faithful adaptation of Philip K. Dick's nightmarish 1977 novel about government surveillance, fractured identity and dope-fueled paranoia. Shot in live-action and animated via the same interpolated-rotoscoping techniques applied to the director's 2001 fantasia "Waking Life" -- albeit to markedly different aesthetic effect -- pic feels almost self-consciously geared toward cult status. Mainstream viewers will likely prefer their head-trips less talky and more self-administered.


Though it gets around to addressing all of Dick's pessimistic ideas concerning the cyclical nature of addiction and the erosion of individual privacy, the pic arguably misses the boat by not linking its themes more explicitly to the political realities of the present, particularly when issues of unlawful surveillance have rarely been more relevant. Technological advances aside, this feels very much like a film that could have been made in 1977.

You can check out the entire review for A Scanner Darkly over at Variety.

The Scanner Darkly comes to theatres on July 7th.

For the trailer, movie stills, other reviews and synopsis, go to The Scanner Darkly Movie Page.

Stay tuned for updates.


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Ryan Parsons
Sources: Image property of Warner Independent
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