In a totalitarian society in a near future, the undercover detective Bob Arctor is working with a small time group of drug users trying to reach the big distributors of a brain-damaging drug called Substance D. His assignment is promoted by the recovery center New Path Corporation, and when Bob begins to lose his own identity and have schizophrenic behavior, he is submitted to tests to check his mental conditions.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
When Bob Arctor (Keanu Reeves) sits on the stage waiting to give his speech to the Brown Bear Lodge, one of the images his scramble suit displays is Philip K. Dick. This is a clever reference to the novel, in which the scramble suit is said to show the likeness of its creator once in every several million permutations. See more »
(at around 10 mins) Arctor's residence, on the computer screen, is shown as Anahiem, California, a misspelling of Anaheim. The associated zip code, 98345 is for Keyport, Washington. See more »
[on the phone]
I looked them up. They're aphids. They're in my hair, on my skin, in my lungs. And the pain, Barris, it's unreasonable. They're all over the place. Oh, they've completely gotten Millie too.
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The "Phil" mentioned in the "in memoriam" list as having permanent pancreatic damage is Philip K. Dick himself. See more »
I love Philip K. Dick's work and was pleased with this adaptation of "A Scanner Darkly." Keanu Reeves does a really good job in the lead - he's in his element here - but he's really upstaged by Robert Downey Jr. and Woody Harrelson who engage in some surreal and hilarious conversations. It's like you're sitting with a bunch of guys tripping. Needless to say, some of the dialogue is hilarious, and I can see this film becoming another cult classic. (When they talk about two hemispheres being separate, I couldn't help but think about "Repo Man.") As for the animation, I found it a bit distracting. I think I would have preferred the use of CGI when it came to the agent suit that continually blends the faces of about 1 million people so that the agent isn't recognized. If you like drug films, then this is a must see. If that's not your bag, then you might have some problems with the film. It's sometimes obtuse and the story a bit convoluted. It's best to sit back and experience the film. It's a drug trip in itself.
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