Crimes of the Future (2022)

crimes of the future poster 2022 movie cronenberg
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Good cast and interesting concepts

Movie ends when it feels like it is starting to get going

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Crimes of the Future

Studio:  Serendipity Point Films/Telefilm Canada/Ingenious Media

Genre(s):  Drama/Horror/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s):  May 23, 2022 (Cannes)/June 3, 2022 (US)

MPAA Rating:  R

crimes of the future shell bed lea seydoux viggo mortensen

Rise and shine!

Humanity is changing.  While pain is something rarely felt anymore a smaller group of people have begun to evolve new and non-functioning organs.  Saul Tenser (Viggo Mortensen) and his partner Caprice (Léa Seydoux) are performers who demonstrate the removal of Saul’s extra organs as performance art.  When Saul is contacted by an underground group wanting him to do a public autopsy of a child they believe is the next step of evolution, Saul finds himself pulled into a world of unseen government agencies and murder.

Written and directed by David Cronenberg, Crimes of the Future is a body horror thriller.  Following Cronenberg’s Map to the Stars, the film was released at Cannes and received mostly positive reviews.  The takes its name from a short Cronenberg film from 1970 but shares no similarities to the film.

I love Cronenberg, but Cronenberg (you could argue) hasn’t been “Cronenberg” in a while.  He made his name on twisted and monstrous body horror starting with Shivers and continuing through movies like The Brood and eXistenZCrimes of the Future is a throwback to earlier Cronenberg with many of the aesthetics of modern Cronenberg.

crimes of the future ear man

I have ears…they’re multiplying…and I’m losing control

The story feels like it combines a lot of aspects of Cronenberg’s previous outings.  There is talk of inner beauty from Dead Ringers, surgical instruments controlled by machines like the game systems from eXistenZ, body growths like The Brood, sex and disfigurement from Crash, transformation like The Fly, the merging of tech as in Videodrome, and even some of drug induced visions of Naked Lunch.  While it would blow away a new viewer (and potentially sicken them), it feels a bit standard fare for Cronenberg…wrapped up in a story questioning where society is leading.

Cronenberg returns to his recent favorite with cast as the tortured Viggo Mortensen.  He moans and groans and generally looks like he’s suffering through the whole movie as he fights the evolution going on in his body.  He’s joined by Léa Seydoux as his partner in performance who’s also trying to manage his suffering.  He has a decent supporting cast including Kristen Stewart and Don McKellar whose job it is to register and tattoo new organs.  Welket Bungué plays a secret liaison officer while Scott Speedman is the father hoping to expose that his son was potentially the next step for humanity.

crimes of the future autopsy

It’s what’s inside that counts

While there are some great visuals like the ear-man and some of the humanoid organic machinery (like the nightmare feeding chair), it feels like Cronenberg could have pushed it even farther.  Movies like The Brood and The Fly were outright revolting at points and seared into the memories of those who watched them…but Crimes of the Future doesn’t seem to have as much lasting power in its visuals.

Crimes of the Future feels like a culmination of Cronenberg’s work or at least his early work.  For a number of years he’s stepped away from his gorier stuff and brought more actor focused stories.  This movie feels like it is trying to be more of a bridge between the two like The Fly and Dead Ringers were before it.  The problem with the film is that it feels like it is just getting going when it ends and not enough is explored.  Regardless it is nice to have Cronenberg return to classic form…the movie is all about evolution and feels Cronenberg is trying to find a means to do that too.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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