Director David Cornenberg can amazingly weave a labyrinth tale, one that will keep you guessing even after the end credits role, if this film would not use the brevity of things and prolong it's wide capacity, something amazing could of came out of it. Rather it decides to use the latter and leave too many important holes open, although the idea and concept is quite inventive, the length of the film is underused. It needed at least fifteen more minutes of screen time to let the audience conclude what the hell is going on, I am not bashing the ending, for it was quite a pleasure, I am referring to the last fifteen minutes of the film prior to the ending. Then again not all films are perfect, but this is a pretty damn good movie, it compulsives you to think what would happen if you would lose the boundaries of reality, and collide into a video game where you are not in control. You cannot prevent your transactions to what they may be, lead up to, become. It is a pretty smart movie that sends chills up your spines, and especially your spine (for those who saw the film), at times humorous, and at others erotic and steamy, never losing it's sci-fi territory. "eXistenZ" may not be as good as some recent sci-fi films such as "The Matrix" or "Dark City", but you do appreciate what it proposes, an entire new world. A fine aspect of this film is that it does not need time to build up it's climax, the director shoots us right into the event that leads to the point. We get an abridged understanding of the characters, but the audience go to this movie not expecting any wide character development, they want to see all the cool sci-fi gadgets and techniques. The images are not so mind blowing or extraordinary, but rather the idea of a virtual reality game which taps into the inner nerve of your mind and makes you experience a whole new world is fascinating, but it is difficult to differentiate reality and illusion. The director does not conjure his vision opaquely, rather he practices on how to get the audience wondering weather they are in the real world or the game world. This film is only for sci-fi devotees, there are some pretty nasty little gooey, slime infested creatures that lie amongst this film, it does not sustain too much action or karate, so do not expect a sequel to "The Matrix", but if you like mind twisted enigmas then this is one for you. It toys with the viewers minds and baffles them to an extent of one of my favorite films "In The Mouth Of Madness", on top of that the leading lady serves up a delicious and sexy performance as the inventor of this virtual reality game.
The feline creator is Elegra Gellar (Jennifer Jason Leigh), the shy yet genius who invented great amounts of virtual reality games, the most recent one is called eXistenZ. What eXistenZ is, to be blunt I am cluless, but from what Ive seen it is another world with characters and a plot, you need to pursue any clues and marks to find your mission (much like "The Game"). We don not really get to know her personally but we are not too interested either, we just want to see her envision the games she made, but there is a process you need to go through in order to see it. You not to have a bio port inserted into your spine, it is like a system, once you have that port there is a hole in your back, in this hole you insert a string which loads up the game into your mind. Then you experience the most stimulating virtual reality game ever created, it is a world, one that seems real, you cannot distinguish it from reality.
The film begins in a seminar for what seems to be a group of virtual reality fanatics, they are there to test eXistenZ and experience its intensity and capability. As I said earlier, all who want to play must have a bio port inserted in their spines, and all of the people gathered in the room do. One of the viewers brings a gun to the seminar, his mission is to assassinate Elegra, because a creator of such dangerous objects should not deserve to live. His motives may be crazy, but that does not veer the attention away from the strange gun the assassin possesses, it is a green, slimy, and funky gun that instead of bullets, it fires teeth, that is how it is able to get by security. This gun is one of numerous unfamiliar and puzzling objects that we encounter as the film proceeds.
Ted Pikul (Jude Law), is the security guard who assists Elegra to flee the arena before she is shot in more severe areas, Ted does not have a bio port inserted in him and Elegras pod (game devise) is damaged. So she needs to restart it by playing eXistenZ with someone friendly, such as Ted, so they go on a quest to find someone which can proficiently inject a bio port into Ted. Elegra is marked for death by many people, she is very lucrative dead and people are ready to kill her.
I do not wish to proceed for I am afraid of spoiling the movie for you, but I will let you know that if you like the freaky stuff you will adore this film. It also has a great supporting cast which includes Ian Holm as the scientist willing to fix the damaged prod, William Dafoe plays Gas, a gas station attendant who knows how to inject bio ports, and Sarah Polley as a game assistant. Overall "eXistenZ" is a good movie worth checking out for its mystique ending and tantalizing presence. If only Cronnenberg would have not gotten all hectic towards the ending.
Other Recent Reviews:
Entrapment by Shaun
Election by Shaun
Hideous Kinky by Shaun
SLC Punk by Buscemifan
Pushing Tin by Buscemifan
Pushing Tin by Shaun
Life by Buscemifan
Life by Shaun
Never Been Kissed by Buscemifan
A Walk on The Moon by Shaun
Cookie's Fortune by Shaun
Go by Shaun
Go by Buscemifan
The Matrix by Buscemifan
The Matrix by Shaun
GO BACK TO THE CRITIC'S HOMEPAGE for the latest reviews
since May 2, 1999
Copyrighted by Joe "Buscemifan" Soria© 1999.