Ralph Fiennes plays Lenny Nero, a paranoid ex-cop dealing in illegal virtual reality clips that replicate sensory perceptions in this dazzling sci-fi thriller from director Kathryn Bigelow.
As New Year’s Eve 1999 approaches, he receives a compact disc that contains the memories of a murderer killing a prostitute.
Suspecting old flame Faith (Juliette Lewis) might be in danger, he investigates further and uncovers a secret that could throw the entire city into chaos on New Year’s Eve.
There’s another woman in Lenny’s life, and she’s single mother and chauffeur Mace (Angela Bassett) who wants to look after him, but senses she is being taken advantage of. What they both are getting involved with, reluctantly, is the recent killing of militant rapper Jeriko One (Glenn Plummer), which has more to it than meets the eye.
This controversial, highly imaginative and inventively staged movie is a fascinating look at the moral implications of advanced technology.
Using galvanising subjective camerawork to place the viewer in the voyeuristic frame, Bigelow cleverly reinvents film noir for audiences raised on Terminator 2, while presenting a dark vision of where cinema for pure sensation’s sake could be heading. The result is an unsettling experience.
Lornette “Mace” Mason