13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful and mad,
This review is from: Existenz [DVD]  (DVD)
Funny how a movie concerning games consoles manufactured from mutant amphibian organs can count as one of Cronenberg's more mainstream offerings, but there you go. Be aware this is not an action film: it requires attention from the viewer and rewards it well. It's a deliciously paranoid virtual-reality romp about the latest games sensation. In many ways it's the nineties succesor to Videodrome: the two films share various themes. Everything in the film looks fantastic in that classic Cronenberg slightly-unsettling way, from the sets to the spot-on casting: Jennifer Jason Leigh, as the game creator/celebrity, is unreasonably sexy. Jude Law plays a totally-out-of-my-depth guy well. The remaining mix of "real" and deliberately-cheesy "game" characters all convince. The script has a lot of fun playing with nested realities (I won't spoil it for you) with visual effects being low-key but well realised (with one exception). The ending isn't a major surprise, but never mind.
A real bonus is the director's commentary track, easily the best I've heard to date. The evil Mr Cronenberg tells us about the sets, visual effects (including the one deliberately- slightly-duff effect), actors' ad-libs, critics and other good stuff in a vaguely Hannibal Lector-esque deadpan.
A very tidy package.