Written and Directed by David Cronenberg
Starring Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jude Law
Ian Holm, Willem Dafoe
My Advice: Bite into The Matrix instead
Rating: out of
I picked this movie up because the coverbox touted it as "Better than the Matrix!" ::knocks on their
advertising heads:: Pardon me?
Packed with stimulating visual effects and a story line you can't help but initially sink your teeth into, the
beginning of this flick had me quickly involved. What I am trying to say is, "eXistenZ" started off on
a good Sci-fi foot.
Writer and director David Cronenberg in the past has brought us some fantastic science fiction flicks. He is adept
at mixing his Sci-fi with a nice blend of horror, as seen in Scanners and the remake of The Fly. The intricacies
of this movie clearly show he spent a great deal of time visualizing this world-not-of-our-world and that area
doesn't disappoint. But, let's face it, all the visuals in the world won't slap a bandage on a bleeding plot that
leaves you scratching your head-of-this-world.
Allegra Geller (Leigh) is a lionized "goddess" of virtual reality video games. In these games of the
future you must be equipped with a "Bioport," something akin to an additional hole in your spine. You
plug into this port with an umbilical-looking thread that is attached directly to a "pod." These breathing,
wiggling "pods" were so discomforting to look at that I was ready to chuck my Nintendo out of the window
if this is what the future of games would be.
After an attack by a revolutionary rebel who believes these Virtual Reality games worlds must be stopped, Allegra
goes into hiding with the mild-mannered Ted Pikul (Law). A new-to-the-scene game marketer, Ted has no Bioport and
Allegra seeks to have him equipped so she can scrutinize her game, eXistenZ, for possible damage. After an unlawful
installation by a gas station attendant, cleverly named Gas (Dafoe), Ted enters the game in order to accompany
Allegra on a test drive, so to speak.
This is where this movie began to lose me. Within this "World" there were other "Subworlds."
Many levels seemed to exist and, as the story progressed, just as I felt I was satisfied with an explanation they
took it one step further. They then continued stepping on until they had stepped smack-dab into a movie ending
that left me desperately hanging. In doing so, it also left me highly unsatisfied. I'd spent almost two hours following
this strange plot merely because I "needed" to know what the resolve would be. And no resolve was there.
In short, even though it started off on a good foot, it tripped and fell quite flat.