Strange Days (1995)

This is a movie you might want to watch if you are anticipating to buy those Google glasses (which allow you to record everything you see). Set in 1999, just days before the new year, Strange Days paints society as a violent one where the end of civilization might happen soon. In this world Lenny Nero (Ralph Fiennes) is a former cop who has become a dealer in experiences. A device has been developed which records everything a person experiences. Those recordings can be played back by another person who feels everything the original person does. It’s a lucrative business for Lenny, but he finds out it is a very dangerous one as well.

He only deals in good experiences (think of thrilling rides or sharing the bed with someone), but once he receives a recording of a murder of someone he knows he has to use his police knowledge to try and find the killer before more people fall victim to him. He is helped by one of his very close friends, Lornette Mason (Angela Bassett).
The power of the camera is a strong one as the riots in Los Angeles after the Rodney King beating proved and there are more examples of it. This movie takes that concept to its logical conclusion and does so in a very thrilling way. As a viewer you see a lot of footage shot from first person and it’s been done convincingly. It sometimes makes you wonder how they filmed it.

What I like so much about this movie is that it captures the vibe of a new millennium and uncertainty that would bring. The technology used in the movie still has not happened, but Google glasses are a first step towards that. The performances by Fiennes and especially Bassett stand out, they make their characters ones you care for. Strange Days is a nice thriller with a sci-fi twist that manages to keep you glued to the screen.

Score: 8

12 thoughts on “Strange Days (1995)

  1. Hi, Nostra and company:

    Excellent review!

    ‘Strange Days’ is one of those film that I can watch time and again. Not just for the cast, which is notable from top to bottom, but for the grimy ‘Streets of Fire’ look of L.A. and its crowded myriad side streets and alley ways.

    A lot of talent on display. From Juliette Lewis’ scuzzy Faith Justin. To Fiennes’ Lenny and Angela Bassett’s bad ass Mace. Also like Michael Wincott’s slimy Philo and Tom Sizemore’s creepy Max. Though Vincent D’Onofrio walks away with every scene he’s in as racist psycho~cop, Steckler.

    A great little film for watching the chops of talent cementing their credibility early on!

    • Thanks a lot Jack! Although D’Onofrio was good it seemed he only was doing one expression. I guess it worked here, but I thought the cops were a bit one dimensional (it’s because of the script though)

  2. I just saw this not that long ago, and strangely enough, weeks later I saw Tom Sizemore in person. I was gonna ask him about that wig but didn’t have the guts, ahah. I thought Ralph was sooo hunky in this, but who I love most here is Angela Bassett.

    Btw, inspired by all your blogathon ideas, I’m creating my 2nd ever blogathon Nostra, hope you’ll join in!

  3. I really like this one. I think everyone who has become a Kathryn Bigelow fan following The Hurt Locker needs to go back and check out her earlier work – some real gems – this one, Near Dark and Point Break are all great. Shame she hasn’t made more movies.

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