Computer scientist Hannon Fuller has discovered something extremely important. He's about to tell the discovery to his colleague, Douglas Hall, but knowing someone is after him, the old man leaves a letter in the computer generated parallel world his company has created (which looks like the 30's with seemingly real people with real emotions). Fuller is murdered in our real world the same night, and his colleague is suspected. Douglas discovers a bloody shirt in his bathroom and he cannot recall what he was doing the night Fuller was murdered. He logs into the system in order to find the letter, but has to confront the unexpected. The truth is harsher than he could ever imagine...Written by
When Douglas asks Grierson (Hanlon Fuller) about having flashbacks, Grierson references being in World War I. Since the program is set in the 1930s, prior to the second World War, Grierson wouldn't refer to the previous war as World War I. Before World War II, World War I had other names, most famously "The Great War." While it is a computer program, and knowledge doesn't necessarily operate the same way as in the "real world," there's no logical reason for characters to be programmed with that term, and Hanlon, as the designer, would know the proper terminology for the time since he actually lived during the 1930s. See more »
Entertaining and thought-provoking....very underrated
The Thirteenth Floor is one of those films that has gotten lost under all the more well-known films of the late nineties; and this is a shame, because it's a damn sight better than a lot of the films that always receive praise from the critics. Not everything in this film works, and for that reason and others; it's no masterpiece, but you've got to admire The Thirteenth Floor for it's originality, and it's ability to pull a coherent plot out of a scenario that has 'disaster' written all over it. The film is based on the book "Simulacron-3" by Daniel F. Galouye, which is the same book that inspired Rainer Werner Fassbinder's "World on a Wire". Whether or not this version is better, I can't tell you having not seen Fassbinder's version; but I can tell you that this version is worth seeing. The film follows the death of a computer programmer. He was working on a computer simulated world before his death, and his colleague; Douglas Hall, believes that the programmer left the key to discovering his murderer inside the virtual world...prompting him to go in search of it.
The film works both as an entertaining science fiction flick, and a thought provoking drama. The film asks questions about the value of life and the ills of playing God; and although these questions have been asked by many films many times before; here, it's done so well that you forget that and ask yourself these questions all over again. The twist at the centre of the movie extremely well worked, and after it hits you'll ask yourself how you didn't guess it sooner - and that is testament to the excellent plotting preceding it. Despite being a science fiction film, there is very little in the way of special effects in this film. However, the movie makes up for this with the excellent way that 1937 Los Angeles is created - it's easy to buy into the film's multi-world plot, and for that reason; it doesn't need special effects to work. The acting is largely good, with Craig Bierko impressing in the lead role. Vincent D'Onofrio, Gretchen Mol and 24's Dennis Haysbert, who is excellent in his small role, support him. On the whole, this isn't brilliant or a masterpiece; but as far as modern Sci-Fi goes; this is one of the best I've seen.
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