My Cameo In A Scanner Darkly - blink and you'll miss itIs A Scanner Darkly a faithful Philip K.Dick adaptation? I HOPE NOT. What is the point of a faithful adaptation of anything? What does it bring to the table, nothing new? So, instead Linklater’s rotoscoped (don’t say cartoon) version of the Dick stoner Bible has to bring me something the book doesn’t do.

Well it gives me pretty pictures of Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder in a world which keeps threatening to get (drawn) more interesting than it is. It gives me a realisation of a drug: Substance D: which is the dullest drug ever (D for Dull?) And it tweaks what was a pretty incoherent original story into a still pretty incoherent story with a top comedy turn by Bobbie Downie II.

As for the animation though. It serves the story, though not in the way I imagined it would. I thought there would be lucid whacked out drug hallucinations. There are about three. I though reality would break down. As it is constructed in the film, reality stays pretty much the same. But it is remarkably pleasing to look at. It is almost like reinventing technicolour. A smoothing out of faces, a nice reiteration of lines. Things oddly seem clearer, rather than the more muddled look I expected (from Waking Life). Anyway, there’s the picture of my cameo in the film. Its an easy technology to master.

The hardest part of the film is explaining away the title. Reeves manages to deliver the soliloquy with a straight face (well, maybe it was drawn that way) but the Scanner’s are a poor retro-fit to our current CCTV hell. A Scanner Darkly is a nice stoner comedy, techno-thriller, psycho-philosophical tract cartoon from the man who brought us School of Rock: and that in itself should justify its existence.

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