Movie Review: "A Scanner Darkly"

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

From the people who brought you Waking Life, from which all I remember was thinking the artists were forced to draw with their toes during an earthquake. Well, it turns out, I actually liked the story and animation within A Scanner Darkly, and I might go back and give Waking Life another chance. A Scanner Darkly is set in the not to distant future (I believe it is "7 years from now") where a mysterious new drug, Substance D (not to be confused with the obscure metal band from California), claims most people addicts. Keanu Reeves plays an undercover agent who has fried his brain on the very drug he is trying to track down to source of. The most likely candidate for the source of Substance D, is actually a help group called "New Path" who help people recover from the drug, and incidentally is the only location in America that is not covered by security camera 24/7. The police agency, of which Keanu's character is a part of, wear "scramble suits" to keep their identity hidden from everyone. The medics at the police agency begin to discover Keanu's character is showing signs of Substance D addiction (a good album by the way - Substance D: Addictions), which may force him to have to enter New Plan...

I thought the movie was pretty entertaining, as well as the making of documentary in the bonus features of the DVD. The entire movie was first shot in live-action, then a team of animators spent about 18 months drawing the movie frame-by-frame. I had just assumed they applied some graphic algorithm on top of the raw footage, but instead, they used a technique called Rotoscoping. I recommend this movie to people who enjoy thinking about alternate realities and what the future may hold.