Friday, June 10, 2022

Crimes of the Future (2022)

I sit in the tiny arthouse theater that thumbs its nose at “mainstream” film in a town that resents cultural outliers. The screening room is empty. I know what I’m getting into. This is David Cronenberg’s return to cinema.

Crimes of the Future is the collision of woke culture and the unknown horizons of technology, and its ending asks more questions than it answers. This is the movie where “surgery is the new sex”, but it’s also the movie where erotic surgeries are little more than performance art. It’s the opposite of the torture-and-murder Videodrome, and unlike Videodrome, it’s all about watching rather than feeling.

My complaints can all be boiled down to “it’s not hard enough”. There is a threshold which has been crossed many times in the past that this movie did not cross. The blame could lie in Canadian nationalism or a soft Chinese streaming audience. Films are financed in funny ways these days. It used to be “I have an idea for a movie”. Now it’s “I’m familiar with a market”.

It’s not a bad movie, but it’s directed by David Cronenberg. That alone should be a sign you’re in for something different. The film starts different enough, but by Cronenberg standards, it really falls apart and becomes melodrama without fulfillment. I don’t know, man. Older movies are better.