Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Writer: James Cameron, Jay Cocks (Screenplay) James Cameron (Story)
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Angela Bassett, Juliette Lewis, Tom Sizemore, Michael Wincott, Vincent D’Onofrio, Glenn Plummer, William Fichtner
Plot: A former cop turned street-hustler accidentally uncovers a police conspiracy in 1999 Los Angeles.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Simple Story In Future World
Story: Strange Days starts by giving us a form on found footage robbery. This only is an introduction to our protagonist Lenny (Fiennes) who deals in these memories that people can buy to experience moments they wouldn’t be able too. We are introduced to the world of 1999 where the world is starting to go downhill with armed police on the streets. We follow Lenny around while he works seeing the different types of recordings he sells. We watch as police officers Burton Steckler (D’Onofrio) and Dwayne Engelman (Fichtner) chase down one of Lenny recorders, before we see how Lenny looks back on his own memories with Faith (Lewis). With the millennium approaching the world is getting slightly paranoid by the idea of 2k and movement leader Jeriko One (Plummer) warns people before getting assassinated.
Lenny’s final night of the millennium gets intense when he receives a mystery recording which turns into the rape and murder of one of his very own clients. He now has to team up with Mace (Bassett) and former police partner Max (Sizemore) to try and figure out who was responsible. Lenny can’t go to the police and tries to protect his old flame Faith whose new lover Philo Gant (Wincott) could have involvement. With the police after them they are stuck trying to figure out what is going on with new clues within each recording Lenny picks up.
Strange Days has a very basic story looking at the idea of police corruption with a base look America on the edge of riots. We do get a nice look at adding future elements with the technology to pass around memories to let people feel what others feel. I do feel it goes on a little bit too long and takes too long to get into the main story but thanks to Ralph Fiennes it just about gets away with it. The idea of the future where police cause riots because of their over the top policing is actually a reality which could happen and we have seen in real time. (7/10)
Ralph Fiennes: Lenny Nero the lead salesman on the black market of the memories of other people, he is the best in the business and goes out to always find the next level without looking into snuff ones. Ralph gives a great performance with his constant attempts to try and talk his way out of things keeping your attention together throughout. (8/10)
Angela Bassett: Lornette ‘Mace’ Mason loyal friend of Lenny’s who met during his time working for the LAPD who ends up working with Lenny to bring out the truth. Angela gives a good performance as nonsense lady. (8/10)
Juliette Lewis: Faith Justin old flame of Lenny’s who is now with one of the men who is trying to cover up everything. Juliette gives a solid performance but is out of the picture too much as we only learn of her involvement. (6/10)
Tom Sizemore: Max Peltier a friend of Lenny who used to work with him on the police force but goes undercover close to Gant. Tom showed that he was always a top supporting star before his legal troubles. (7/10)
Support Cast: Strange Days has a support cast that keeps us guessing with one group after our heroes and another who is out to help them uncover the truth. They all help the story flow having impact on the story’s final outcome.
Director Review: Kathryn Bigelow – Kathryn does a good job turning what could be a very simple idea and making it very complex. (8/10)
Action: Strange Days has a couple of action moments which move the story forward but doesn’t rely on its action. (7/10)
Sci-Fi: Strange Days uses the technology as its sci-fi element which is very interesting concept. (8/10)
Thriller: Strange Days keeps you guessing on what will happen throughout the film not giving too much away and only letting us learn as much as our protagonist. (8/10)
Settings: Strange Days creates a slightly dark world we live in now, but it all comes off very nicely. (7/10)
Suggestion: Strange Days is one to be trying, even though the story seems simple it doesn’t come off as simple as it should for the most causal viewer. (Try It)
Best Part: Technology idea is how found footage should be done without being a found footage film.
Worst Part: Slightly too long.
Believability: No (0/10)
Chances of Tears: No (0/10)
Chances of Sequel: No
Post Credits Scene: No
Awards: Won Best Actress and Best Director at the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror.
Oscar Chances: No
Box Office: $8 Million
Budget: $42 Million
Runtime: 2 Hours 19 Minutes
Tagline: Strange days are coming
Overall: Good Sci-Fi Thriller