There's something to be said for ambitious films, but there's more to be said for ambitious films that people can actually enjoy. Which is why we're at a loss for words about this very ambitious and only mildly engaging animated adaptation of a Philip K. Dick story, directed by Richard Linklater (School of Rock, Dazed & Confused).
Set seven years from now, the many-threaded tale pits Keanu Reeves as an undercover cop keeping tabs on his drug-addled friends. But part of the problem is that his buddies--played with tweeky goodness by Robert Downey Jr., Woody Harrelson, Winona Ryder and Rory Cochrane--are as frustrating as they fascinating, talking in circles and often making no sense whatsoever. Similarly, the animation, which involves the same illustration of live-action images as Linklater's Waking Life, looks incredibly cool and is sometimes used to great effect. But when it comes down to it, the technique is almost completely unnecessary. All of which makes this trip worth a quick scan, but not much more.
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