Top critical review
Stylish, Dickian but still average
on 12 February 2014
The Thirteenth Floor was released just a couple of months after 'The Matrix', a film with which it shares a central question; i.e. how real is reality? Along with 'Dark City' which pre-dated 'The Matrix', it continues this variation on a theme and adds to the ontological angst upon which conspiracy theorists thrive. Adapted from the novel Simulacron 3 by Daniel F. Galouye, published over two decades earlier, it focuses on the sim/virtual reality shenanigans of an IT company whose CEO and founder, Hannon Fuller (Armin Muller-Stahl), is found dead shortly after the film opens. The `hero', played by Craig Bierko, falls under suspicion for his murder as he stands to inherit the company. The death is investigated by LAPD detective, Larry McBain, played by Dennis Haysbert.
It's an okay watch, provided you can pick it up cheaply enough, but I can't quite put my finger on why it's no more than that. The production values are fine; the actors do their jobs well and the story's intriguing posing, as it does, the usual philosophical questions about the meaning of life, existence etc. Perhaps, it's because there are no star names present. I was reminded a little of Bradley Cooper's character in Limitless and it seems to me that he could have played this part well and given it a little bit of star quality. Maybe that's all it is.