Picks and Pans Review: Dark City

updated 03/09/1998 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/09/1998 AT 01:00 AM EST

Rufus Sewell, Kiefer Sutherland

No one ever makes a sci-fi thriller in which the future is a wonderful place where everyone lolls around on chaise lounges munching on Milk Duds and watching Seinfeld reruns. Instead, in movies the future is always dark and grimy, and sinister forces lurk menacingly at street corners.

In Dark City, the sinister forces have created an entire shimmering city in which to carry out their evil experiments. The movie, a thriller that's long on visual style and convoluted in logic, comes from the obviously febrile mind of director-writer Alex Proyas (The Crow). His heroic everyman (Sewell) wakes up one day unsure of who he is. His memory is gone, and he is being stalked by evil bald men in long black coats. He may or may not have a wife (Jennifer Connelly); she may or may not have had an affair. Also popping up to taunt him is a syringe-wielding doctor (Sutherland, doing his Peter Lorre imitation) who seems familiar with Sewell's past.

None of this makes much sense, but it all looks really, really fabulous. (R)

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