In 1999, Los Angeles is racial war zone with the army and LSPD and SWAT officers fighting Afro-American people. The former cop Lenny Nero is a dealer of illegal recording in CDs that gives the memories and sensations of the recorder to the user. He buys the recordings from the supplier Tick; he misses his former mistress Faith, who was a hooker and now is a singer; his best friend is the private eye Max Peltier and the limousine driver Lornette 'Mace' Mason, who has unrequited love for him. Two days before the turn of the century, the black rapper Jeriko One is murdered. The hooker Iris seeks Lenny out but there is an incident and they do not talk to each other. However she drops a recording into Lenny's car while he unsuccessfully tries to meet Faith at a night-club. However her boyfriend Philo Gant does not let them talk. When Lenny learns that Iris was sadistically raped and killed, he gets involved in a sick scheme and discovers dirty hidden secrets.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The ending credits end with the dedication "To Gertrude". See more »
The UK cinema version was cut by 1 sec with a further 12 secs of cuts to shots of Iris being electrocuted and raped for the standard video and laserdisc releases, though the 1997 widescreen VHS was accidentally issued fully uncut. The UK DVD features the cut VHS print. See more »
Strange Days is an interesting film, with a great premise. It also happens to be well-executed, for the most part. The LA of the future (well, future back when it was released in 1995) is quite dystopian in nature, and Strange Days manages to present all facets of that using Taxi Driver-influenced car rides through the city while observing the chaos on the streets. In many ways, Strange Days manages to create a real-life and convincing future, and it feels like a true place, with things going on independently of the events in the movie, rather than feeling like a movie set.
Atmosphere aside, though, the movie has many strengths. The plot is intriguing, and it flows quite smoothly. A lot of the dialogue is really quite interesting and gives the movie a nice feel (not to mention the actors do a pretty good job with the material). The characters are three-dimension and interesting. While the beginning parts were somewhat disjointed (at least in terms of plot), they did serve as an excellent setup. When the movie was its best (during the middle parts) there is a frantic sense of urgency that really drives the picture along. It's a very entertaining movie, and it managed to form an emotional link with me - always a good sign.
Unfortunately, it kind of goes downhill after that. Strange Days ends up resorting to awfully cliche ideas, complete with plot elements seen a million times in movies before. All of this mars what could have been a real classic film. It's too bad that Cameron and Cocks had to resort back to this, since the movie has so many strengths and so many great things that it could have built on. While the movie is still above average, it just isn't as superb as it could have been. Nonetheless, Strange Days succeeds on many levels and is well worth watching.
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