Of the various Philip K. Dick movie adaptations, I don’t think most really get the Dick vibe. The theatrical cut of Blade Runner, for instance, was altogether too optimistic for a Dick story. Total Recall was not badly written, although the acting and special effects really nuked it for me. Paycheck was not too bad; very disorienting and off-balance. Minority Report was coherent and understandable, which isn’t really very accurate either. So, you can imagine how much I enjoyed the Linklater adaptation of A Scanner Darkly.
Not only does the protagonist not know what is going on most of the time, it never does become perfectly clear even at the end of the movie if his perceptions match reality or not. The rotoscoped animation is a perfect way to portray the insanity that the hallucinogenic story needed. Too bad that it didn’t even recoup its budget in the box office, but maybe it’ll get legs on DVD.
Definitely a good movie for those who like Kafka or Dick. Maybe not so much for those who like Grisham or Crichton.