A friend of mine just sent me a pretty cool video that does a side-by-side comparison of The Matrix with Dark City. I never really thought about it before, but both movies have an eerie similarity. Both of the story lines are very similar, the overall “look and feel” of each movie is similar, and the experience of each story’s protagonist is basically the same. To see what I mean, put on your Matrix sunglasses and check out the video immediately below right now!
Dark City actually came out before The Matrix (1998 vs. 1999 respectively), and I wouldn’t be surprised if at least some of the inspiration from The Matrix was derived from it. Dark City is about shape shifting aliens called Strangers that have basically used their powers to take over the world, unbeknownst to its human inhabitants.
The hero of the story awakens in a blood-soaked bathtub with no knowledge of where he is or how he got there. Even his long term memory is scattered – his memories come at him in pieces, and he has no way of knowing which ones are real nor is there anyone he can trust to help shed some light on his situation. As he awakens, he immediately receives a phone call warning him that the Strangers are coming…and they’re right down the hall!
In a nutshell, the story represents the hero’s efforts to figure things out and uncover the true nature of the Strangers. Eventually, he realizes that he is The One; that is, the only human who can shape shift the environment just like the Strangers.
I hope you can see the extreme similarities between the movies. Like Neo, the hero in Dark City awakens in an unknown, “virtual” environment, must go through a process of discovery to understand the true nature of things, and ultimately realizes he is the only human on Earth who can beat the antagonists at their own game. Of course, the hero of Dark City does not get to wear those ultra-cool Neo sunglasses, but aside from that there are too many similarities to mention.
So, if you’re a fan of The Matrix, I’d recommend watching the entire Dark City movie when you have a chance. I’m pretty sure you’ll thoroughly enjoy it; it’s an excellent flick!