“Humans adapt to a synthetic environment, with new transformations and mutations. With his partner Caprice, Saul Tenser, celebrity performance artist, publicly showcases the metamorphosis of his organs in avant-garde performances.”

Director: David Cronenberg
Writer: David Cronenberg
Staring: Viggo Mortensen, Léa Seydoux, Kristen Stewart, Scott Speedman, Don McKellar
Rated: R
Release Date: June 3, 2022

Trying to explain Crimes Of The Future (2022) to someone is a very tough task?

“What is ‘Crimes Of The Future About’?” –

“So it takes place in an apocalyptical future and the human bodies are evolving and creating new body parts. Human evolution is developing at a rapid rate and traditional human emotions are fading. Pain is the new sex, and the hottest form of art is live surgery revealing tattooed organs. So ‘Crimes Of The Future’ tackles that change in humanity on both on a tangible and philosophical level, while also knotting in storylines of government conspiracy and secret cult societies.”

“What the fuck?”

This is what I picture general conversations happening like.

Crimes Of The Future is not a happy depiction of where human society is headed. David Cronenberg dives into his bag of body horror and combines it with a deep pessimism of humanity to create a story showing how shallow the emotional depths of community have fallen.

Rather than trying to break down the plot in all its minute details, I am going to tell you reader to watch the first ten minutes of the movie. You will either be 100% all in, or you will be baffled and have to make a choice.

For me, I was all in.

Now for those who have seen Crimes Of The Future, how fucking good is that first 10 minutes? Cronenberg sets the scene with stunning visuals and asks so many questions.

  • What is with the boat and why is it capsized like that?
  • Why was this women so worried about this child eating out of the ocean?
  • This women is killing the kid…why??
  • Who did she call after the killed the kid?

What a way of setting the table. You can have some sense of what you are getting into because Cronenberg is Cronenberg, but the initial place settings ensures that everyone who is staying for dinner is going to enjoy the experience. Just make sure it is not a plastic looking granola bar. IYKYK.

Viggo Mortensen as Saul and Léa Seydoux as Caprice

You watch the trailer for Crimes Of The Future and you are stamped with the major theme that humanity is losing the concept of pain. This raises the question of whether or not pain is a good thing, and whether or not it is necessary to have pain to still be considered a human. With all the veiny machines used throughout the story, the synergy of robotics and humanity are obviously reaching new levels. There are government agencies don’t want this to happen because they deem this as divergency on the ideal path of human evolution. On the other side, there are portions of society that want to push the envelope for synthetics and mechanized synergy. Caught in the middle of them is Saul Tenser.

Viggo Mortensen plays Saul Tenser and damnit if he isn’t one of the most underrated actors in Hollywood. He plays Saul with a wonderful mix of curiosity, martyrdom and societal empathy. Saul and his partner Caprice (Léa Seydoux) are abstract artists who believe their work parallels the redefining humanities ideals. Saul is set on being the canvas that Caprice operates on. He is the submissive of their odd sexual surgical art show, but in exploring new ways that societies dependency of he learns that there are different wants to interpret what his art is.

You ever have a relative who sits on the couch and needs help doing everything while having flehm get caught up in his through in the middle of telling a story? Viggo plays the part of Saul with the energy of a sage, dying grandfather. He is constantly in discomfort, but he never asks for it to stop. He lets his new organs grow till they are about to burst. This bloating feeling inside of him is the closest he can get to reaching the apex of feeling, and it is only at the end of the movie he gets to the peak…and not via the path he expected.

Trying to explain Crimes Of The Future is hard for me, but it is also fascinating to talk about. This is a credit to Cronenberg and his ability to not only make body horror beautiful on the eyes, but also sexually mystifying. The moans that that secreted by Saul and Caprice are tinged with a sense of tease, and because you don’t have pain as a baseline, they never climax because they don’t know what the opposite of pain is. They don’t know how to experience the brief seconds of euphoria that come with a traditional orgasm. That sweet release of relief after your body is riddled and tensed.

I know it all sounds insane, but in Crimes Of The Future it all makes sense. I swear.

If you want to have your brain twisted into a soft pretzel, then I encourage you to turn on Hulu and start Crimes Of The Future. It is not a movie for everyone, but is a movie made with supreme confidence in a singular vision. Cronenberg wanted to make a point, and while you may note understand every single aspect of it, you will be thrilled to continue thinking about it months after you watch it.

STANKO RATING: B (3.5/5 Stars)

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