CRIMES OF THE FUTURE (REVIEW)
Dir. David Cronenberg
Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield
David Cronenberg returns with a sweeping vista of his career and a story that will be familiar but executed extraordinarily well.
The tone of CRIMES OF THE FUTURE is most akin to EXISTENZ, the psuedo-sexualism of CRASH, the body horror of VIDEODROME and politics of NAKED LUNCH make his latest film a greatest hits but wrapped an an original story that makes this one of his best.
In a world where there is no pain and human evolution has gone a little awol, performance duo Viggo Mortenson and Lea Seydoux indulge in a sexual awakening where operating is the new sex. In their showcase to an audience one member learnt the tool they use could be the secret to unearthing the next stage of evolution in a synthetic world.
there's nothing new to stretch Cronenberg and this won't garner new fans but what it does is give those who've missed the body mods of the expert a refreshing new film that highlights once more why Croneberg is the king of body horror. There may be new lions wanting to take the pride with the likes of Julia Ducournau (TITANE), The Soska Twins (AMERICAN MARY) and even his son Brandon (ANTIVIRAL and POSSESSOR) all showing there is still an audience for body horror since David's last film was in the last Millenia. Fortunately, age hasn't dulled the director and CRIMES OF THE FUTURE feels like there was never any break from the genre bringing to life science and biology like no other.
In its humble run time, the should we stay or should we accept the next level of evolution fight battles on and in such fashion that this feels like a realistic and adult version of the X-MEN. Those without new growths watch on in awe and fear while those with new findings want to showcase them to the world at what expense. A topical yet engaging conversation that, as ever with Cronenberg, is wrapped in a false pretence of horror but when digested, is a realisation of fiction portraying the real horrors of life.
CRIMES OF THE FUTURE may not have a beautiful shot in the sense that it brings an unplanned moment of brief reflection, instead it takes a grimy sheen on everything. Nobody does science fiction in a down trodden manner quite as well as the director does and this is one more notch in a series of films that bolster him not only as one of the best horror directors of our time, but science fiction world builders too.
With a fantastic cast and no shortage of bodies across the screen, this is the pure Cronenberg that we've missed and anyone who disliked his films before won't be won over by this but as art becomes real, as too does a deeper conversation of how the Earth's evolution affect human evolution which is both topical and very, very real.