Strange Days – 7/10.

The sleazy underbelly of LA is exposed by a chap called Lenny.


This version of LA was prevalent in cinema up until recently. Where all the criminals have long hair, wear leather jackets and carry knives and all the women look like Miss America circa 1981. See also Escape from New York, Terminator 2 and erm… The Karate Kid. The dubious, unshaven hero this time is Lenny Nero played by Ralph Fiennes.

The basic premise is one of corruption within the LA police force set against a back drop of the turn of the millennium and also a new technology that allows people to buy small memories that belong to someone else and feel and see everything they did.

It is odd that director Kathryn Bigelow (and writer James Cameron) decided to set this premise only four years into the future but it seems much less ridiculous now then it probably did at the time what with the continual rise of the smart phone, Google glass, Apple watch et al. Bigelow brings all this together nicely though and if anyone can make a bit of a daft story seem believable it is Fiennes.

Juliette Lewis doesn’t have to stretch too far to be a singer in a garage rock band but she is always a good watch and she bounces off Fiennes with aplomb. However at nearly two and a half hours Strange Days is far too long and as previously mentioned a lot of the characters feel like 90s caricatures. Aside from Point Break I have never been much of a Bigelow fan but this is one of her better efforts.

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