Every other week Jack Reda, The Script Doctor, tells the powers that be in Hollywood why they should listen to him. You decide if he's right.


These movies were going along quite well, but at some point near the end they lost control and came up short. A bad ending will ruin an otherwise good movie.


This Samuel Jackson and Kevin Spacey police thriller was kicking some serious booty all the way until the last five minutes. The filmmakers just decided to throw in a preposterous resolution that relied on the assumption that none of the corrupt cops would be listening in on the same police radios that all the good cops were tuned to. They were all still technically on duty, so why would they turn them off? They weren't trying to be stealthy in their approach, so there's no good reason. Spacey pretends to be bad so he can get the ringleader to confess on the radio.

Another part of Spacey's plan is to shoot Jackson, and make it look like he's dead (then give medical attention in a little while, right after the confession). This is absolutely goofy. Guns don't kill people. Bullets do. There's almost no way that would have worked. First off, Sam may be a badass dude, but he'd be screaming like a bitch. It is nigh impossible to pretend you are dead after having been shot point blank. And the way Spacey did it was even more goofy (he looked like a gunslinger, not even really aiming).

What they should have done is have Jackson wounded earlier (not seriously, but enough to get him bloody so they could fake the shooting later). Then they should have made a point of showing the bad cops turning off their radios (and let Spacey see them doing it). That way he doesn't give his plan away to the wrong guys. There. Not complicated and no longer silly.


The mood and atmosphere in Dark City was very cool, and it was a fun movie to watch. The ending itself was not that terrible, except that it showed the actual threat in the movie was kind of lame. On no! The bad guys are keeping it dark, and adjusting the city in our sleep. Snore.

With the awesome production values and fabulously creepy bad guys, Dark City owed it to itself to have a more sinister plotline. The dark men should have been fueling their underground machine-thing with human lives. They plan to feed Jennifer Connelly into it, and now Rufus Sewell has a more compelling quest (moreso than finding a sunny beach seen on a postcard).


At the end, Derek Jacobi dives at Emma Thompson and skewers himself on a giant scissors sculpture. Okay, that was just plain dumb. No man over forty dives at anyone, not even a woman he wants to kill. You can still kill him with irony, er, I mean scissors, but do it like normal filmmakers do: have him fall through the skylight.


  • Jack Reda

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