08.21.2019 - By The Force Fed Sci-Fi Movie Podcast
Jack-in to this week’s edition of Force Fed Sci-Fi and The Force Fed Sci-Fi Movie Podcast as we discuss and review the 1995 movie, Strange Days. We’ll talk about the Strange Days movie cast, box office performance, give our own Strange Days movie review and rating, and more!
Strange Days Synopsis
Taking place on December 30th and 31st of 1999, Lenny Nero, a former cop, is roped into investigating the death of one of his ex-girlfriend’s best friends, Iris. She witnesses a murder, attempts to give Lenny evidence of that murder, but is killed herself before she can even explain to Lenny what had happened. Now, the murderers are after Lenny and his friend Mace. They have to track down Iris’ proof of what she witnessed and her murderer, while at the same time being chased and finding a way to survive.
Why is this film considered sci-fi?
So, the synopsis doesn’t sound like sci-fi at all if you noticed. At the time of its release, Strange Days was set in the near future at the turn of the century. However, the film doesn’t have any futuristic feel to it even though it’s technically taking place 5 years ahead of the current time period.
The one aspect that makes this movie a sci-fi film though, is the “SQUID” technology that is used by the movie’s characters. This technology included a piece of equipment that attaches to the top of someone’s head, recorded their senses (sight, touch, etc.), and finally being able to use that attachment and recording to help someone experience someone else’s moment in life. The “SQUID tech” in the film had a very indie feel to it, as it looked like a hat made out of clothes hangers and wires that attach to a VCR. This tech when the film was released probably looked ahead of its time, but the look of it does not hold up 24 years later.
These “clips” that are seen in the film are actually a bit brutal involving rape, murder, and death. We only get to see one positive clip where a small character who seems to be an amputee of some sort, gets to experience what it’s like running on the beach, looking down at the legs, and having a woman running by smile at him. If this technology were real, we’d want to see more clips like this one as opposed to the rest of the depressing SQUID clips we see in the movie.
Strange Days Movie Cast
Ralph Fiennes as Lenny Nero
Fiennes was just coming off of his performance in the film Schindler’s List, which drove the director Kathryn Bigelow and the other filmmakers to choose him for the lead role in Strange Days. The other big name that was considered for the role was Andy Garcia. Ultimately, the role of Nero went to Fiennes.
Lenny is seen more as a “rough around the edges” type of character at first. After being a cop, he sells SQUID discs that contain memories for a means of income. His lifestyle is complicated as he can’t move on from his ex-girlfriend, tries to pawn off fake rolexes, and even showing signs of being addicted to jacking-in to his own personal SQUID memories. In the end though, we see the main character solve the story’s murder mystery and move on from his past.
While some may think Fiennes didn’t do such a great job with his part, we think he actually did really well and crushed this role, but the length of the film didn’t do him or the other actors any justice. The only odd acting the audience experiences from Fiennes is when he jacks-in and witnesses the rape/murder of Iris and the fack rape of his ex-girlfriend, Faith. In addition, some of the other reactions to the SQUID clips from other actors takes us out of the film for a moment, and is almost considered overacting in our eyes and possibly comedic.