‘Crimes Of The Future’ Is An Assault On Cinema Even By Cronenberg’s Standards

David Cronenberg, at 79, still continues to film mostly in his native Canada. He has perfected body horror so much that you wonder what started his fascination. And more improtant, you wonder if he still has a way to surprise us. His latest movie Crimes of the Future, his first horror movie since 1999’s eXistenZ, is not his finest work. It feels more like an attempt to copy his work with a hint of Ryan Murphy’s over the top exaggeration.

What made early movies like Scanners, The Fly, Videodrome and Dead Ringers so great is that not only did he push the standards but there was a fascinating if not uneasy story to follow. Crimes doesn’t reallty even have much of a story, which it’s no surprise it’s about a performance artist couple Saul Tenser (Viggo Mortensen) and his partner, Caprice (Lea Seydoux).

Set in an undisclosed time in the future, human beings have advanced so much that personal pain and infectous diseases are no more. This leads to many surgeries being performed in open settings as people watch and even operating on the body is considered performance art. Saul grows new organs in his body as part of an “Accelerated Evolution Syndrome.” So, his organs are removed before an live audience.

Timlin (Kristen Stewart), who works with the National Organ Registry, says that this has become the new form of sex to watch people being operated on or even to cut and be cut by sharp objects. I don’t know what the fuck it means. It’s just disgusting for the sake of being disgusting. In Videodrome, Cronenberg was able to correctly show the how sexual pleasure can be derived from inflicting or receiving extreme pain. Here, he seems to be acting like a performance artist doing something sick just to be sick.

This is a shame because Cronenberg has never been this extreme before. Even Crash, which I didn’t really like, was able to have us understand people who got off on seeing car wrecks. He was able to tap into that fascination we have where we’re slow down just to see a car accident. I’ve covered many of them, some so bad, they had to reroute all traffic as people stood around late at night just watching. I remember seeing a car engulfed in flames on the freeway around Macon, Ga. and it just looked unreal.

There is nothing here but a bunch of groady scenes of body operations followed by people just talking a lot. I understand Mortensen was recovering from an injury in which he couldnt stand for more than two minutes as he been in a horse-related injury. While he’s normally a delight to watch on screen, here he just seems dull and boring. And Seydoux brings her same sad droopy gaze to the movie that we’ve seen before. If there’s a plot here, I couldn’t find it.

What do you think? Please comment.

Published by bobbyzane420

I'm an award winning journalist and photographer who covered dozens of homicides and even interviewed President Jimmy Carter on multiple occasions. A back injury in 2011 and other family medical emergencies sidelined my journalism career. But now, I'm doing my own thing, focusing on movies (one of my favorite topics), current events and politics (another favorite topic) and just anything I feel needs to be posted. Thank you for reading.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: