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  • Award Snub: The lack of a Best Picture Oscar nomination is excusable thanks to the Sci Fi Ghetto, but no nominations for Art Direction, Visual Effects, or Makeup Design is near-obscene.
  • Awesome Music: The entire soundtrack. It's as if Trevor Jones managed to put the epicness of sci-fi, the intrigue of noir, the sadness of drama and the creepiness of horror in one score. Special mention must go to "Memories Of Shell Beach".
  • Complete Monster: Mr Hand - unlike the rest of the Strangers, he's extremely merciless and sadistic, and feels more pleasure in killing people or just making 'em suffer (although some of this may be due to imprinting himself with the serial-killer memories John was supposed to receive). The Big Bad Mr Book, oddly, avoids this trope.
    • This troper saw it the other way around. Mr. Hand, out of all the Strangers, came the closest to being human, and comes off as mildly sympathetic when he tells John that he's dying. He seems to accept his demise as inevitable. Compare to Mr. Book, who toyed with human lives out of scientific curiosity, without regard for his test subjects, and who forced Dr. Schreber to erase his own memories.
      • Indeed, even Mr. Hand ultimately appears to reject the Serial Killer memories -- his final encounter with Murdoch isn't about hate or sadism, but a awed, even respectful desire simply to speak to Murdoch before he dies.
  • Iron Woobie: Tortured Dr. Schreber's comeuppance against his captors with his "how to kill Tune like a mofo" memory syringe.
  • Older Than They Think: Dark City explored the themes of a mutable reality controlled by otherworldly forces a year before The Matrix. By strange coincidence, the two films were also shot at the same studio, and the Wachowski brothers re-used some of the Dark City sets (specifically the big spiral staircase and the rooftops used for Trinity's run). Taking things full-circle, the Shinichiro Watanabe short in the Animatrix has a Hero Antagonist Private Detective pursuing Trinity and realizing the terrible truth about his world. This is rather similar to Bumstead's role in Dark City.
  • Paranoia Fuel: One-ups even The Matrix's Platonic Cave. The world you live in isn't a lie, your life and memories down to your own entire personality are a lie, built to order mere minutes ago.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: It can be very difficult for modern audiences to appreciate this given its influence on The Matrix and Inception. Christopher Nolan even admitted to being inspired by this film.
  • Vindicated by History: While unsuccessful on release, many viewers are beginning to agree with Roger Ebert's assessment.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Alex Proyas always keeps the screen alive with some truly jaw dropping imagery that rivals Christopher Nolan or Ridley Scott firing on all cylinders. Especially the amazing scene in which the buildings start changing before Our eyes.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds
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