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A former cop turned street-hustler accidentally uncovers a conspiracy in Los Angeles in 1999.
Set in the year 1999 during the last days of the old millennium, the movie tells the story of Lenny Nero, an ex-cop who now deals with data-discs containing recorded memories and emotions. One day he receives a disc which contains the memories of a murderer killing a prostitute. Lenny investigates and is pulled deeper and deeper in a whirl of blackmail, murder and rape. Will he survive and solve the case?
I'm afraid Strange Days was one of the most uninspired movies I have seen to date – which did not come to me as a complete surprise, considering the braintape-theme had already been thoroughly explored in "Brainstorm" (1983) –, and unless one is of the "excess sadism makes off for lack of originality" school of thought, it's probably not worth seeing.<br/><br/>I'm as surprised to see such a misogynistic movie was directed by a woman as I was to learn that such a bad script was written by Cameron – I think the fact that half of the people discussing the movie focus on the rather unnecessary rape scene speaks volumes –, not to mention the fact that the camera crew's seeming attempt to do something "artsy" severely disconnected me from the movie more than once.<br/><br/>I guess if it hadn't been for the fact that the bad camera work and the general boredom had left me largely detached from the plot, I would have been shaken by "That Scene" in some way rather than annoyed, perchance to rate the movie 1/10 instead of the two points I afforded it.<br/><br/>Whole and large, I'm surprised to find people describe the movie as "an intelligent social commentary", but then obviously, I am blissfully unaware of where those people come from – as one reviewer put it, "You can't go wrong. This movie has violence, sex, rape, and blood."
Strange Days is set in Los Angeles & starts on Dec 30th 1999 as ex-vice squad cop Lenny Nero (Ralph Fiennes) turned illegal seller of SQUID's (Superconducting Quantum Interface Device, don't know what happened to the 'U') which are people's memories electronically recored onto discs. A hooker friend of his Iris (Brigitte Bako) gets in touch with Lenny & she is scared about something & before she can tell him she runs off, shortly after Lenny is given an envelope addressed to him & inside finds a SQUID disc. Lenny hooks himself up & takes a look at it & it shows the brutal rape & murder of Iris, Lenny decides to investigate her murder & why she was so scared when she spoke to him a few hours earlier. What he discovers isn't very pleasant & implicates the LAPD in a racially motivated killing as he himself becomes a target as he tries to do what's right…<br/><br/>Directed by Kathryn Bigelow this has a cult following but I didn't think it was anything special. The script by James Cameron & Jay Cocks takes itself extremely seriously & tries to do a lot, perhaps too much. For a start it tries to be a murder mystery even though I guessed the killers identity fairly early on, it tries to be a dark futuristic thriller which is difficult as it's set in 1999 & the year is now 2007 & constant references to the new Millennium really date Strange days & constantly remind me that I'm watching a film & the stealing of people's memories isn't anything new & not much is done with it here & if you were a sadistic rapist & killer would you record your crimes & then send it to an ex-cop? It didn't make much sense to me. Then there's the all to obvious political message about racism & the fact that the LAPD seem to randomly shoot & kill a black man & the threat of riots as a consequence absolutely reeks of the Rodney King incident & I think I'm right in saying writer James Cameron has said the the real life Rodney King incident was a influence on the film, this aspect of the film felt forced & a bit blatant for my liking & rather predictable too & I'd imagine that the resolution of there just being two rogue cops & no widespread conspiracy throughout the department is meant to vindicate the LAPD as they were in real life. Another aspect of Strange Days that I didn't like was the near two & a half hour duration, it's just too long, too drawn out & pretty tedious at times. Having said that it's still watchable & there are some good sequences here although they tend to be few & far between.<br/><br/>Director Bigelow conducts things at a snails pace, my patience was being severely tested by the time I had crossed the two hour mark. There's not much to shout about here, the action scenes are small in scale & provide little excitement while the violence isn't anything to write home about either, there is a potentially unpleasant rape scene here though where someone cuts a woman's clothes off with a knife & then rapes & kills her. The character's are a bit dull, the dialogue is profanity ridden & nothing special. There are some really impressive 1st person sequences which must have been a nightmare to film including a great opening scene of a robbery.<br/><br/>With a supposed budget of about $42,000,000 & making less than $8,000,000 at the box-office Strange Days bombed big time & that isn't surprising. It's well made but a bit dull & forgettable. The acting is alright but no-one impressed me that much & I didn't particularly like anyone either.<br/><br/>Strange Days is an average film, it has some impressive moments & it tries to do quite a lot but it has plenty of bad points too not least a predictable killer, I thought it was alright I suppose but I doubt I'll ever want to watch it again.
Due to the combination of violence and sex, approx. 11 seconds were removed from the British Version. No, there were only the two rogue cops, one of whom had killed Jeriko-One in a fit of anger after being goaded by him during a routine traffic stop. He and his partner then went about trying to cover their tracks by attempting to kill Iris who had witnessed it all and destroy the recording of the incident which she gave to Lenny. Max made up the story of the death squad to prevent Lenny from going to the police with the recording and everything he knewJeriko-One was killed by two rogue cops which was witnessed by Iris. Max then killed Iris on behalf of Gant. Gant had been using Iris to spy on Jeriko-One and knew that if his music artists discovered he was secretly recording their every move he would be ruined. Gant also requests that Max kill Faith, however Max is secretly having an affair with Faith so he takes the opportunity to kill Gant instead and attempts to frame Lenny for both his and Iris' murder
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