Written and Directed By: David Cronenberg
Staring: Jude Law, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Ian Holm, William Dafoe, and Sarah Polley
It’s worse than that. I’m not sure… I’m not sure here, where we are, is real at all. This feels like a game to me. And you, you’re beginning to feel a bit like a game character. -Ted
If television shows like the short lived Harsh Realm staring D.B. Sweeney was something that wet your science fiction palate, the engaging eXistenZ is a film that should quench your thirst. With Cronenberg at the helm, staring Jude Law and Jennifer Jason Leigh, with compelling performances by Ian Holm and William Dafoe, this alternate or confused ideal of reality becomes an exciting Sci-Fi thriller that constantly keeps you guessing.
By now us movie goers are familiar with films that delve into the distorted perception of reality. eXisitenz presents this story through the eyes of a virtual game creator, Allegra who is evading a group of religious zealots that are plotting her assassination. The trick is Cronenberg delivers the separation of reality and virtual reality with such a thin line that you are lef just as off kilter as the main characters. Each scene features the main characters stumbling threw new events trying to comprehend what is real and what is not. In the middle of the suspense and confusion, you’ll find your entertainment core perfectly balanced with random doses of humor and tongue in cheek dialogue.
Jude Law and Jennifer Jason Leigh’s natural chemistry give each scene an ease, and heightens the tension within their dialogue. With the excess sexual tension seeping between them, the intensity is palpable, along with the constant uncertainty they exude about the question of reality versus virtuosity.
The conception of eXistenZ may not have been an entirely original creation, even shadowing some of writer/director Cronenberg’s previous work, but it’s execution is exciting, witty, and undeniably entertaining. With a prevalent pop culture relevance to our techno/ADHD influenced world, it challenges the changes gaming and violence has in our personal entertainment.
Somehow this flick has gotten lost in the mix over the years. Probably getting lost in the sensationalized special effects dynasty of The Matrix and it’s other bumbling followings, it hasn’t lost any of it’s punch. For hard core gamers or big Science Fiction junkies this is a little piece of cinematic heaven made just for you. The Verdict? A movie to remember, love it or hate it.