Sunday, January 21, 2007

Movie Review: eXistenZ 3 Stars

David Cronenberg trods familiar fields with this latest exercise in examining transcendence and bizarre sexual imagery. Always one for the unexpected, Cronenberg eschews horror and fright in favor of high camp in this rollicking mindwarp-of-a-movie that manages to lampoon every cyber cliché and still be one at the same time.

Sexy computer game designer, Allegra Geller (Jennifer Jason Leigh) has designed the perfect symbiotic gaming system, an experience that changes for each individual user. Furthermore, the game, itself, is a feat of biotechnology, powered by the body’s own central nervous system. At a focus group for the new product, events go horribly awry with a failed assassination attempt. Allegra flees with marketing geek, Ted Pikul (Jude Law), but the lines between reality and game world soon blur, and the two fugitives never quite know when they are players or characters. They certainly don’t know whom to trust.

Typically gruesome, Cronenberg’s design team created fleshy, nipply, yonic “game pods” for the handheld controllers that attach into the bio-ports surgically implanted at the base of the spine. Connecting pod and port are undulating umbilical cords. Funny. Violent. Ick.

eXistenZ rates far below most of Cronenberg’s library. Even that, however, is far superior to most everything else out there.

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